Srinagar, July 14: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday said that despite presence of large number of security personnel, Kashmir has become a new source of drugs in the country.
In an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times, Singh said that a drugs supply to India was first started by Pakistan with the help of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
“It started with Pakistan and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Their security lies in destabilising us, whether in Punjab or Kashmir. So, heroin started coming from there. Gangsterism too was developed by Pakistan, and there is a link between gangsters and drugs,” he said.
“That has taken care of inflow of drugs and arms. What is now happening is strange. One new source of drugs is Kashmir despite so much security. The other one is Delhi where Nigerians have built a nexus,” Amarinder Singh said.
He said that the death penalty at first conviction will bring stringent checks and balances in a legal system. “It will put the fear of God into them. It’s not that. Even if two or three people are convicted and sentenced to death, it will be a deterrent. It is up to the Centre to take up our suggestion for amendment,” Punjab CM said.
Apart from routine policing and being actively involved in counterinsurgency operations, Jammu and Kashmir police has been fighting an equally aggressive war against the drug abuse and the drug mafia.
Earlier, in the year, DGP Shesh Paul Vaid, calls it a “bigger challenge” than fighting militancy.
Official statistics point out that drug seizures have increased in the recent past. A couple of consignments had even come from across the border. So far, 137 kg of heroin, including 66.5 kg smuggled from PaK in a cross-LoC truck, 175 kg of charas, 760.5 kg of cannabis (bhang), 164.5 kg of ganja, besides opium and cocaine in small qualities were seized by the police from across the state. Other seizures include 2,61,539 psychotropic substances and around 8,150 kg of opium derivatives.
As many as 1,213 people were arrested on charges of being involved in 888 cases of drug smuggling and drug abuse, the police said.
Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti earlier asked the police to “chase drug-peddlers with full force and secure the innocent youth from the clutches of drug addiction”.
Upcoming snow spell: Avalanche warning issued for Kashmir, Ladakh districts
Srinagar, Jan 19: Kashmir areas experienced fresh snowfall on Saturday, with the weather office forecasting more in store for the next three days.
“A western disturbance (WD) is presently active over the state under whose influence moderate to heavy snowfall is likely to occur in the valley till January 23 after which the intensity of the WD will start decreasing,” a Met Department official said here.
District administrations have set up helplines to help prevent any untoward incident due to the heavy snowfall.
Meanwhile Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan Saturday issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh.
As per the hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has directed the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
The Div Com also directed the concerned DC’s to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.
While the nightlong cloud cover increased minimum temperatures throughout the valley on Saturday, the maximum temperatures are expected to drop further, the weather official said.
Srinagar recorded minus 2.0 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 4.4 and Gulmarg minus 7.0 as the minimum temperatures.
Leh town had minus 9.2 degrees Celsius and Kargil minus 18.9 as the night’s lowest temperature.
Jammu city recorded 8.3 degrees Celsius, Katra 9.1, Batote 3.9, Bannihal 2.3 and Bhaderwah 1.3 as the minimum temperatures.
UN clearly did its job: Guterres on Kashmir human rights report
United Nations: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday hoped that India and Pakistan will engage in a “meaningful dialogue” to resolve their issues.
The UN chief also said he has been offering his “good offices in relation to the dialogue between the two countries that, until now, had no conditions of success.”
Guterres was speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.
“I hope that the importance of both India and Pakistan is such in international affairs, I hope that the two countries will be able to engage in a meaningful dialogue,” he said.
The UN chief was responding to a question on his repeated urging of dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours.
In relation to the human rights situation, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has produced recently a very detailed report. So, the UN has clearly done its job in that regard, Guterres said to a question by a Pakistan journalist on the situation in Kashmir.
Day after grenade attack, forces conduct search op in Lal Chowk
Srinagar: A joint search operation was launched by the forces and police in the commercial Hub Lal Chowk area of Srinagar on Saturday.
The search came a day after the grenade attack took place in the locality, which left a vehicle and windowpanes of some shops damaged.
Witnesses said that a large contingent of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed near the Clock Tower here while the frisking was also intensified.
They said that drones too were used during the operation.
However, a top police official said that it was a routine exercise ahead of upcoming Republic Day.