Drug menace takes roots in J&K

Drug menace seems to have taken roots in Jammu and Kashmir with more and more youngsters falling in the trap of mafia which is earning crores out of this murky business.  It has become a matter of major concern in recent years for the society and the nation alike with the number of youngsters getting addicted to the vice increasing at an alarming rate.

The youth unaware of its adverse effects, get addicted to drugs supplied by the drug mafia after experimenting with it out of curiosity or social pressure. According to a survey conducted by the UN in 2014, around 16 crore people across the world consume illegal drugs. The peddlers target the youngsters with the sole aim of making financial gains and are least bothered about the harmful effects it inflicts on the society.

Though mindboggling but in Jammu, the city of temples, ‘drug culture’ has become highly rampant.  There has been a rise in incidents of illicit drug trafficking, the reports of which have been finding a place in the newspapers on a daily basis. Influence of the drug mafia is increasing since the lawmakers are taking little or no interest in curbing this menace of drug addiction. The matter therefore becomes relevant and should be treated with the seriousness deserved.

But if the manner in which drug menace in Jammu has reached to alarming proportions, the Jammu and Kashmir police seems to have been outgunned and simply overmatched by the resilience of the drug commerce. Furthermore, their potential impact is neutralized by inability of courts and penal system to ensure timely and deserving punishments to drug peddlers and narcotic smugglers.

Police must understand that drug trafficking threatens the civility of city life and undermines parenting. While parents can set rules for conduct in their own homes, the rules are hard to extend to city streets and urban classrooms where drug trafficking has started becoming a way of life. The police knows well that it can accomplish little by themselves.

Drug arrests and prosecutions are exceedingly difficult, owing to the absence of complaining victims and witnesses. Even with these limitations, the police can make many more arrests than prosecutors can prosecute, courts can adjudicate, and prisons can hold. But they seem to have prioritised writing complaints and then, harassing the families who come out in open with complaints of their children being involved in drug trafficking.

In confronting drug trafficking and use, task of a police should be to find a way to increase community’s own capacities for self-defence so that police efforts may be effectively leveraged through community self-help. It also means finding ways to reach out to those people in community who are hostile to drug menace and to strengthen their hand in dealing with the problem.

It may be effective to organize and support citizen initiatives than to chase drug dealers. It may be more effective to organize groups of parents, educators, and youth leaders to resist drug dealing than to increase arrests of drug dealers.

The state machinery should understand drug problem requires first-rate professional law enforcement. Arrests for drug offenses are an important part of all police strategies. Great investigative sophistication is required to deal drug menace. And police should understand the need to curbing drug menace and ensuring guilty are booked and sent behind the bars.

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