SRINAGAR Terming the growing drug and liquor abuse in Kashmir as a cause of great worry and concern, chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that members from cross section of society have been informing him as well as a large number of letters he is receiving, suggesting the menace of drug addiction is spreading far and wide in Srinagar and across the valley especially among the youth including girls.
Mirwaiz made a fervent appeal to parents, teachers, Ulema, Mohalla Committees and Masjid committees to wake up to this reality and take steps in this regard. He said easy money made available to children makes access to drugs easy for them. He said parents have to take responsibility for this.
Addressing the Friday congregational gathering at Jamia Masjid Mirwaiz said that availability of drugs and its distribution has become a well-organized trade in Kashmir, especially in Srinagar where during evening hours, drug peddlers openly distribute drugs to distributors and youth at graveyards, parks, playgrounds and anywhere. He said that Kashmirs young generation is fast falling prey to this unchecked growing menace.
Mirwaiz said that the unfortunate part is that the drug peddlers are targeting even school children and students in colleges and universities. He said figures suggest that those affected are not in hundreds but in thousands including girls. Even professionals are falling prey to it.
Mirwaiz said that if the situation continues to remain so, time is not far when Kashmir will turn into Indias state of Punjab, where drug abuse is most rampant.
Mirwaiz said that drug abuse is fast spreading in the downtown areas of Srinagar and its the primary responsibility of the parents to give time to their children and be aware of their activities, to help them keep away from drugs. He said that the Shahr-e-Khass areas especially those adjoining Makhdoom Sahab are reportedly the hub of drug business as almost every day complaints about drug distribution pours in from this area. Besides this, Mirwaiz said other areas include Malkha and its adjoining areas. He said people residing in these areas have to be vigilant in this regard.
Mirwaiz said that the law enforcing agencies have to step up and play their role to curb drug abuse and take urgent measures to arrest those behind openly indulging in its trade and distribution. People of the respective areas should extend full cooperation and support to such drive. He said it is the primary responsibility of the state administration to crack the whip on those involved in the drug distribution and drug trade in Kashmir and ensure stern punishment to all those involved in this nexus.