Drug Racket Busted In Jammu And Kashmir’s Kupwara, 5 Cops Among 17 Arrested

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Drug Racket Busted In Jammu And Kashmir’s Kupwara, 5 Cops Among 17 Arrested

Bilal Ahmad

SRINAGAR, Dec 23: Five cops were among 17 persons arrested as a major narcotics smuggling module, originating from Pakistan, was busted in the Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said on Friday.

”In one of its biggest successes against drug smuggling and peddling in the district, Police has arrested 17 persons, including five policemen, a political activist, a contractor and a shopkeeper from different areas of the districts of Kupwara and Baramulla, unearthing another narcotics smuggling module originating from Pakistan,” a police spokesman said. He said while working relentlessly to identify and act against the drug peddlers active in the north Kashmir district, police zeroed in on some drug peddlers active in Kupwara town and its adjoining areas.

”On a tip-off, one Mohammad Waseem Najar — a poultry shop owner and a resident of Darzipura, Kupwara, was arrested with some quantity of narcotics from his residential house,” the spokesman said. After preliminary investigations, Najar admitted to be a part of a big group of drug peddlers and disclosed names of some of his associates belonging to the district as well as from the Uri area of district Baramulla involved in this illegal trade, the spokesman said. ”Subsequent raids were conducted at various places across the district and 16 more persons were arrested,” he added. The spokesman said among the arrested were 5 policemen as well who were identified as special police officers (SPOs) Haroon Rasheed Bhat, Irshad Ahmed Khan, Sajad Ahmad Bhat, Zahid Maqbool Dar and Constable Abdul Majeed Bhat.

A political activist Ishfaq Habib Khan was also among the arrested persons.

Others who were arrested include Tahir Ahmed Malik, a resident of Rigipora, Khursheed Ahmed Khan, a dry fruits shopkeeper and his son Imtiyaz Khan, Tamheed Ahmed Khan, a Pakistan-based terrorist handler, Roman Mushtaq Bhat, a resident of Uri in Baramulla, and Asif Rashid Hajam, a resident of Batergam in Kupwara, the spokesman said. He said Abid Ali Bhat, a resident of Bohipora Kupwara, Tanveer Ahmad Wani, a contractor, Nadeem Javed of Uri Baramulla and Tahir Ahmad Khan, a resident of Boniyar in Baramulla were also arrested by different teams of Police Station Kupwara. The busting of this module has yet again exposed the direct involvement of Pakistan-based terrorist handlers in pumping narcotics into Kashmir Valley, aiming to destroy the Kashmiri youth, the spokesman said. In this particular case, one Shakir Ali Khan, a Pakistan-based terrorist handler originally hailing from Keran has surfaced to be the main supplier of narcotics to his son Tahmeed Khan on this side of the Line of Control (LoC).

On Tahmeed Khan’s confession and disclosure, two packets of Heroin-like substance weighing nearly 2 kg have also been recovered from his house.

Khan used to transport it to Kupwara to sell it to his now-arrested associates to earn money. His father Shakir Ali Khan first crossed LoC in the early 1990s to join terrorist ranks, the spokesman said.

After obtaining training in illegal arms and ammunition, he infiltrated back and remained one of the top active terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) for quite some time in Keran, he added. Feeling the heat from security forces, Khan again crossed over the LoC and exfiltrated to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and is now a top terrorist handler, who is also involved in pushing arms, ammunition and narcotics into the valley, the spokesman added.

The police said during investigations it has also surfaced that about 5 kg narcotics valued at Rs 5 crore in the market has been smuggled in from Pakistan by the head of this module Tahmeed Khan during the last three months.

Out of this, about 2 kg has been recovered in the instant case, about a kg has been peddled among drug peddlers and addicts and about 2 kg remains to be traced, he added.

During the current year, 85 cases have been registered against 161 persons in the district. 33 people involved in narcotics smuggling have been detained and lodged in different jails under PSA (PIT-NDPS Act), the spokesman added.

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