Narcotics to foment terror in J&K
New deadlier challenge as narcotics provide oxygen to terrorism
Plain Talk By Shabeer Ahmed
In July there was major success against fomenting terror in J&K when a joint team of Police and Army 7 Rashtriya Rifles has recovered huge quantity of narcotics and IED from a vehicle during a routine check-up at Sadhna Top on Kupwara -Tangdhar road.
Police in Kupwara said that during a routine naka checking by Police & Army at NC Pass (Sadhna Pass) , one LP truck bearing registration JK01AN-8218 driven by Imtiyaz Ahmad son of Habibullah Khan resident of Chitterkote Karnah was put to sustained checking and search .
“ During search of the this vehicle, seven packets of heroin like narcotics substance weighing about seven kgs and two numbers of IEDs were recovered from the possession of three persons namely Imtiyaz Ahmad son of Habibullah Khan, Ghulam Nabi son of Ashiq Ali and Shams Begam wife of Zakir Hussain all residents of Chitterkote Tanghdar,” policew said adding that from the initial investigations, it has transpired that the trio was transporting the narcotics & IEDs to other parts of the valley to aid and promote terrorist activities.
This recovery took place and was not the first time such quantities of narcotics and arms were recovered. There have been many such instance and some of the cases are being investigated by anti-terror agency National Investigations Agency.
Narco terror has also kept the security forces on their toes lately. Tons of narcotics have been recovered by security forces in various districts of the Kashmir valley. Security agencies believe that the money from these drugs is being used by terror outfits for all their necessities including buying arms and ammunitions.
Recent encounters and searches by security forces in J&K exposed large consignments of narcotics with militants. The pattern however has undergone a change and heroin is now directly being sent across the Line of Control.
Senior officers dealing with scourge of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir believe that in wake of ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) since February 25 last year and infiltration at its lowest, Pakistan is now resorting to narco-terrorism as part of its design to spoil the youth of Kashmir and at the same time fund and fuel terrorism through its proceeds.
Senior Army officials at Udhampur based northern Command said that drug trafficking started as an organised cross border crime but has now emerged as a threat to the country, especially J&K because of its connection to terrorism.
Senior officer of security establishment say as a result of ongoing cease fire understanding between India and Pakistan at the LoC and successful clampdown on infiltration by the Army, smuggling of narcotics has emerged as a low-cost option for Pakistan to continue its agenda of fomenting terrorism in J&K
In wake of narcotic smuggling and fomenting terrorism, Army and Border Security Forces deployed along the LoC have been proactively evolving their operational methodology and have foiled many smuggling attempts in J&K.
Narco-terrorism is not a new phenomenon. It is a known fact that Pakistani elements have always provided separatists with funding acquired from narcotics trade. That Pakistani security establishment sells heroin to pay for the country’s covert military operations.
J&K, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh says that is was a new and deadlier challenge because narcotics will provide oxygen to terrorism. “Pakistan is repeating the same dirty game that they played in Punjab, first giving arms training and later spoiling the youth with drugs.”
Police and other security agencies in J&K are unanimous in their conclusion that for the purposes of terrorist financing, Pakistan-based terrorist groups are now resorting to sending in narcotics into the valley.
“An examination of the heroin seizures in what were mostly operations against terrorists leaves little doubt that narco-terror is now an established practice in Kashmir,” said a senior police officer said. “In 2020, nearly 36.08 kg of pure heroin was recovered from different parts of the valley.”
He said that during the year 2021, the size of the consignments have gone up dramatically. “In April 2021, within a week, security forces recovered two heroin consignments each of approximate value Rs 50 crore, while foiling infiltration bids along the Kupwara sector,” he said adding that in October 2021, the Army recovered around 30 kgs of drugs in the Uri sector of Baramulla district.
“The bags containing the contraband had Pakistani markings. Heroin seized from Handwara in June 2020 was found to be connected with funding of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Composite seizures of drugs and arms by security forces in J&K indicates a well-established nexus between drug traffickers and terrorists.”
In South Kashmir, security forces officers believe that drugs are sold in bulk and at cheap rates to attract peddlers, letting them earn more than the Pakistani entities who bring in the substance
“Pulwama and Shopian are at the epicentres of Kashmir’s narco-terror racket,” said Iqbal. “Along with Srinagar, these areas have a relatively higher income than the rest of Kashmir.”
In March, the State Investigation Agency (SIA), premier anti-terror body of J&K presented a chargesheet in a court in a case related to the busting of a narco-terror network
The investigation have revealed a well-knitted conspiracy by Pakistani agents of LeT to destabilise the governments in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir
“’One of the biggest challenges is narcotics drugs. Students and civilians are involved in drug addiction and narcotics are coming from across the border to foment trouble,” Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said adding that the narcotics is being sold and that money is given to terrorists and terror outfits. “They buy arms and ammunition with that money and that’s a big challenge for us. ” Vijay Kumar added.
J and K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha recently said narco-terrorism originating from the neighbouring country (Pakistan) is a big challenge and security agencies are making all-out efforts to counter the menace