Already fighting a tough battle with menace of Drug trafficking and Prostitution, betting on International cricket has taken roots across Jammu and Kashmir.
From online gambling to bookies fixing, everything on mobile phones, illegal betting mafia is enjoying field day. According to the police sources, they have been making serious attempts to put a complete stop on this illegal practice, but due to connections of betting kings with some police officials, they are unable to break the nexus.
Most of the city areas have been covered by these bookies with the help of their associates who works on area basis via mobile phone and allure the youths by deliberately giving them lucrative match rates in the beginning and when they become use too of betting the rate gets increased.
Sources disclosed that the major city areas under the influence of bookies included Gandhi Nagar, Kacchi Chawani, Canal Road, Nai Basti, Parade, Bahu Fort, Bakshi Nagar and Channi while most of them are known to police and intelligence agencies as well but as some police officials are getting their cuts from these bookies, no one dares to expose or nab them.
Not only city, betting menace has reached to the outskirts also with the number of youths playing betting on cricket matches especially during the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament every year. Sources made clear that holding of T20 matches by Indian Cricket Council (ICC) has made betting an evergreen trade with yearly IPL tournament as peak earning season.
In the outskirts bookies are operating upto R.S Pura with major focus on areas like Miran Sahib and Simbal Camp while districts like Akhnoor, Reasi, Samba and Kathua besides other are also being used as free market by the bookies due to the lax attitude of police.
An official on the condition of anonymity uttered “I don’t know how many are getting cuts from these bookies that are devouring lakhs of families both poor and middle class, as I have seen parents crying after selling of ornaments collected for marriage of their daughters or theft of money managed for treatment of someone seriously ill by their own brats”.
He said that now a day betting is being played on every single ball and player which has multiplied the profit of bookies while 80 percent of the youth who have fallen prey of these bookies are squandering the hard earned money of their families as well as they are in the vicious circle of recovering the money which they have already lost and had gone into the pocket of several officials also who claims to be crime stopper.