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Udta Kashmir: Muslim clergy joins hands with police in war against drugs

September 16, 2023

Srinagar:  Muslim clergy has joined hands with police in the war against drugs.

Over 100 imams delivered Friday sermons in different mosques in Baramulla seeking society’s support to eradicate the drug menace

“On the initiative of Baramulla Police, more than 100 Imams delivered anti-drug abuse awareness-themed Friday sermons in mosques spread across the length and breadth of Baramulla district. They all vowed to join hands with Baramulla police to make Baramulla a drug-free district,” Senior Superintendent of Police, Baramulla Amod Nagpure said in a post on X. 

Union Ministry of Social Justice data reveals that there are nearly 10 lakh drug addicts in Jammu and Kashmir. The data was compiled after the Ministry of Social Justice conducted a National Survey on the Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India through the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi.

Data reveals that 1.44 lakh drug abusers are consuming cannabis. Around 5.34 lakh men and 8,000 women are opioid addicts. Likewise, 1.6 lakh men and 8,000 women are taking sedatives.

According to the figures compiled by the drug de-addiction center, Government Medical College, Srinagar, a record 340 percent jump has been witnessed in drug abuse in Kashmir. In 2019, over 3850 IV Heroin abuse cases were recorded, while the number rose to 13200 in 2021. Till October 2022, a total of 596 cases under the NDPS Act have been registered in Jammu.

 Likewise, 785 cases have been registered in Kashmir. Around 815 drug peddlers have been arrested in Jammu, while 1270 have been held in Kashmir.  About 291 kg of Cannabis, 200 kg of Heroin/Brown Sugar, and 167115 Tablets/Capsules/Syrup have been seized till October this year.  National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report has revealed that 1681 cases have been registered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in 2021.  

Earlier, police in Baramulla organised a one-day anti-drugs conference which was attended by religious leaders and preachers.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, North Kashmir Vivek Gupta highlighted the pivotal role of civil societies and religious institutions in combating the scourge of drug addiction. Emphasizing the influence of religious leaders, he said, that they are not only respectable figures but also “our moral compass, guiding us with unwavering devotion along the righteous path of our faith.”

 On the other side, Jammu and Kashmir government has also decided to involve Anganwari workers and ASHAs in identifying drug abuse victims so that they could be sent to rehabs.

Official sources said the Social Welfare Department has been tasked to involve Anganwari workers and ASHA workers in identifying drug abuse victims and their rehabilitation.

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