Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today expressed concerned over growing drug and liquor abuse in Kashmir.
“Members from cross section of society have been informing me. I have been receiving large number of letters suggesting the menace of drug addiction is spreading far and wide in Srinagar and across the valley especially among the youth including girls,” Mirwaiz said addressing Friday congregational gathering at Jamia Masjid here.
“Availability of drugs and its distribution has become a well-organized trade in Kashmir, especially in Srinagar where during evening hours, drug peddlers openly distribute drugs to distributors and youth at graveyards, parks, playgrounds and anywhere. Kashmir’s young generation is fast falling prey to this unchecked growing menace,” he said.
Elaborating he said “unfortunate part is that the drug peddlers are targeting even school children and students in colleges and universities. Figures suggest that those affected are not in hundreds but in thousands including girls. Even professionals are falling prey to it.”
“If the situation continues to remain so, time is not far when Kashmir will turn into India’s state of Punjab, where drug abuse is most rampant,” he said.
Mirwaiz said that drug abuse is fast spreading in the Downtown areas of Srinagar. “It’s the primary responsibility of the parents to give time to their children and be aware of their activities, to help them keep away from drugs. Shahr-e-Khass areas especially those adjoining Makhdoom Sahab are reportedly the hub of drug business as almost every day complaints about drug distribution pours in from this area,” he said urging people residing in these areas to be vigilant.
Mirwaiz made a fervent appeal to parents, teachers, Ulema, Mohalla Committees and Masjid committees to “wake up to this reality and take steps in this regard.”
“Easy money made available to children makes access to drugs easy for them. Parents have to take responsibility for this.
Law enforcing agencies have to step up and play their role to curb drug abuse and take urgent measures to arrest those behind openly indulging in its trade and distribution,” he said.
“People of the respective areas should extend full cooperation and support to such drive. It is the primary responsibility of the state administration to crack the whip on those involved in the drug distribution and drug trade in Kashmir and ensure stern punishment to all those involved in this nexus,” Mirwaiz added.