Demanding immediate ban on sub-standard drugs and alcohol, the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) Monday staged protest demonstration at Press Enclave here. The KEA also denounced civilian killings.
Holding placards and banners, the protestors held placards and banners which read: 'Fake drugs are more deadly than terrorism, we want medicine not poison, punish the guilty, deliver justice.'
Protestors led by co-chairman of KEA, Farooq Ahmad Dar also demanded a total ban on sale and purchase of alcohol. Dar said that no one can claim that these substandard medicines land in Kashmir from the heavens. "These come from different places like Ambala, Shimla, Himachal, Arunachal and Manipur and get distributed here through a proper network of stockiest and distributers," he added.
"Fake, substandard drugs, fake companies have registered mushroom growth in Kashmir. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in Kashmir and companies dealing with medicines yearn to do business in the Valley," he said.
Mohammad Siddiq, the spokesperson of the alliance said: "Eighty percent of substandard drugs are sold only in Kashmir. Kashmir is a big market for these substandard medicines and these get consumed everywhere."
The protestors urged the government to address the root-cause of the problem to break the backbone of the drug mafia operating in the Valley. "In absence of proper checking, Kashmir has become the safe haven for the unregistered pharmaceutical companies, which sell their products in Kashmir, on the propaganda basis," they said.
"This is crime against society at large. These companies and dealers are selling poison on the name of medicine. Till date no one has been punished for selling substandard drugs in Kashmir. Government must also fix the responsibility," they said.
The protestors also denounced the recent civilian killings and use of force on students. "We strongly condemn the innocent killings and use of pellet guns against peaceful protestors. These incidents reflect highhandedness of forces in Kashmir, Killing innocent people in Kashmir will not dampen the spirit of youth to see Kashmir as an independent nation. The present government has turned the state into a police state and Police Raj is visible," they said.