Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani has expressed serious concern over substance abuse in Kashmir.
“Our worthy land of natural beauty is bleeding for the last 7 decades. Death and destruction has knocked every soul. Engulfed in the gloom and miseries, valley is now facing a new and unique monster of drugs, running deep in the society threatening its existence,” Geelani said in a statement.
“Health experts and institutions reveal horrifying data no sane person loves to believe. After 2015 there is addition of more than 6,000 drug addicts every year which indicates a good number of teenage girls, enough to demolish any social fabric to rubble without anybody knowing it.”
“Those involving in this menace have a strong and active network, able to creep to the deepest core of society. Highway dabas, tea shops in the vicinity of educational institutions, shrines and masjids, with their heavy rush of people are thriving hubs for these inhuman and immoral activities. 8th to 12th standard students are more vulnerable,” he said.
“Menace of drugs seems to be last nail in the coffin for our youth. Before this evil destroys the basics of our culture, our identity, our faith and our social network—it needs to be dealt with a heavy hand,” Geelani said.
Hailing the recent efforts of Ulema, he said that this epidemic has to be addressed at various levels, which include domestic, village and mohalla, district and state level.
“Likewise well known, respectable citizens in mohallas should keep an eye on the youngsters and our imams and khateebs get an opportunity to talk on every Friday, they too should apprise the society about this fast growing epidemic engulfing our youth. We cannot afford to lose our generation to drugs as we have already paying a heavy price for daring to stand for our basic and fundamental rights,” he said.
Elaborating, Hurriyat (G) Chairman said “to pin hopes on police and administration seems to be irrational. Our “active” police by the help of a vast and grass root information network, nab the pro-freedom youth within hours—but this drug and liquor mafia is flourishing day by day under the watchful eyes of law enforcing agencies, otherwise huge security grid should have acted as a deterrent for any social evil.” “Liquor is available in camps and youth in adjourning areas have easy access to it. Unless deep root of this menace is unearthed and struck hard, spreading epidemic cannot be controlled by treating the apparent symptoms only,” Geelani said.