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GCC calls for united efforts to defeat drug menace in Kashmir

Srinagar: The Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC) Wednesday appealed to all sections of society in Jammu and Kashmir to take serious note of the alarming spread of drug abuse among the youth in J&K, particularly in Kashmir where the incidence is reportedly much higher.

A statement of GCC, which is a non-political collective of civil society comprising academics, former civil servants and other professionals, issued here said that strong public opinion needs to be created against the menace.

It called for a more active role for the political parties, both in terms of building strong public opinion against drug abuse and in seeking effective preventive and punitive measures from the government.

The GCC pointed out that while the government is primarily responsible for fighting and eradicating the drug menace through action under the relevant laws, the civil society has to play a critical role in educating the common people.

It called upon the students, teachers, and religious heads to speak frequently against drug abuse and make the youth aware about the ill effects of abuse and addiction.

The GCC said that the J&K government must ensure proper investigation of the cases registered on account of illegal production, processing, storage, distribution and sale of drugs, and  also resort to preventive detention against serial offenders involved in drug trafficking as per law pertaining to narcotic and psychotropic substances.

It appealed to the youth to steer clear of the temptation to use drugs for pleasure as the same habit, which becomes addictive over time is a sure way to destruction of their future as mentally and physically healthy citizens.

The GCC statement said that retired IAS officer Muhammad Shafi Pandit heads the GCC while former Advisor to Governor Khurshid Ganie is vice chairman of the group.

It said that the other office bearers include G H Kango, Rafiq Masudi, B A Dar and Muhammad Rafi.

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