Srinagar: Police have launched a relentless crackdown on the drug menace and made significant strides in their efforts to curb the illicit drug trade and addiction epidemic.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Bandipora Lakshay Sharma while sharing the details said that Police in Bandipora district arrested around 80 individuals and registered 64 cases against drug offenders in the last one year.
"Additionally, 10 individuals have been detained under the Prevention of Illicit Traffic (PIT) in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985," the official data reveals.
As part of their aggressive approach, Police have also attached four properties, including one movable and three immovable properties.
"Furthermore, 18 accounts having a total of Rs 23.97 lakh, have been frozen to disrupt the illicit financial networks fueling the drug trade," the official document reads.
As per the official figures, there has been an increase of 190 percent in Police action from September last year to September this year.
In September 2022, only 22 cases were registered, compared to 64 this year.
Moreover, the number of arrests has surged by 110 percent, from a mere 38 individuals up to September 2022 to a startling 80 persons apprehended up to September 2023.
The number of individuals arrested under the NDPS Act has also shown a significant rise, increasing from just six last year to 10 this year.
The Police in Bandipora district are waging a two-pronged battle against the drug scourge.
On one front, they are targeting the drug supply chain, while on the other, they are working tirelessly to reduce the demand for drugs.
To address the demand side of the issue, the J&K Police have been actively engaging with various sections of society.
"We have conducted awareness campaigns in schools, colleges, and other platforms to educate the youth about the perils of drug addiction," a senior Police officer said.
The Police officer emphasised the importance of not stigmatising drug addicts but treating addiction as an illness and providing them with the necessary treatment and support.
"We talk about it at different platforms and we raised awareness about drug menace during ‘Thana Diwas’ programmes and held seminars in schools where we tried to make students aware of it," he said.
In addition to awareness seminars, the Police run a small drug de-addiction center in Bandipora, contributing significantly to counseling and rehabilitation efforts.
Leveraging the district's strong sports culture, the Police have also engaged the public in sports activities while addressing drug addiction issues during sports gatherings.
"Religious leaders in the community are also asked to speak about the drug menace in Masjids during prayer times. Families are encouraged to support and treat drug addicts with love and compassion, rather than isolating them. The ultimate goal is to reintegrate addicts into society, offering them a chance at a normal life," the Police officer said.