Violence-weary Kashmir Grappling With Drug Menace: IGP

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Published: November 15, 2013

Updated: November 15, 2013

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Kainaat Mushtaq

SRINAGAR: After a 23-year-old separatist revolt that wiped out almost an entire generation in Kashmir, it’s now rising drug menace that’s taking a toll on the Valley’s budding youth, the Inspector General of Police said on Friday.

“Unfortunately, the militancy has consumed a generation in Kashmir and now the drug menace is involving our budding youth who otherwise should have been seen in pursuit of their education and career,” Abdul Gani Mir said.

Mr Mir was addressing a function at Drug De-addiction Centre of Police Control Room Srinagar.

Officials say more than 50,000 people have been killed in over two-decade-long violence, involving security forces and separatist militants, in Kashmir. Human rights groups and separatists put the toll higher at 100,000.

Unfortunately, the militancy has consumed a generation in Kashmir and now the drug menace is involving our budding youth who otherwise should have been seen in pursuit of their education and career.

Though here has been a sharp decline in the number of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cases, thanks to an improvement in the security situation, but Kashmir’s separatist war against Indian rule has left mental scars on its residents.

“Drug addiction menace has eaten into vitals of the society in Kashmir and the people need to come forward to tackle and combat the problem,” Mr Mir added.

He said addiction is emerging as a potent threat to our society as it has shown ramifications across all socio-economic levels.

“This menace is no longer confined to the urban areas but it has spread its tentacles in the rural belts also.”

The police chief added that for its prevention the society including parents, teachers religious leaders etc need to come forward and work to contain this menace.

Sociologists say one-third of people in the region between 15 and 40 years are addicted to drugs. Kashmir witnessed a period of relative calm, but a recent spate of rebel attacks is a grim reminder of the tensions in Kashmir.

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