Srinagar, May 1: Since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic last year, scores of religious places were looted by alleged drug addicts across Kashmir Valley. Cash was looted from even those shrines revered and respected by people. Mosques, shrines of saints were targeted in Central, South and North Kashmir. Even Sikh Gurudwaras in some parts of Valley were not spared and cash was looted from the donation boxes there.
People attribute the rising theft incidents to drug menace. Drug addicts desperatly need money to procure drugs and for that purpose they can go to any extent. During the pandemic when shrines are virtually desrted, these drug addicts and anti-social elements find it easy to decamp cash from these shrines.
Trichal-one of the villages of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district where the cash from the shrine of revered sain Hazrat Room Shah Sahab (RA) was looted was in news when it came to fore that the cash had been looted by some drug addicts.
Drug menace has completely engulfed Kashmir Valley. Data revelas that almost all the belts of South Kashmir have become the hub of drug addiction. In North Kashmir only one distirct as per data is badly hit by drug menace.
Drug addiction can prove fatal sometimes. A drug addict can take his life if he doesn’t find drugs sometimes.
Last year in January, in the same Trichal village, an alleged drug addict ended his life after he was unable to find drugs for himself in this Pandemic.
The subject hung himself much to the shock of the people.
In Pulwama district, the burglars (read drug addicts) broke into the shrine of ‘Hazrat Sayed Muhammad Qasim’ (RA) at Rohmu village and stole the cash filled chest.
“There are dozens of villages in Pulwama and other distircts where youth are addicted to drugs. These drug addicts resort to thefts and are sources of menace. They
are more nuisance than an asset to this nation,” said a local of the southern district Pulwama.
There are drug addicts and drug peddlers everywhere. Police arrest them but find very difficult to contain them.
A police official admitted to Kashmir News Trust that they face too many problems after arresting any drug addict. “Any drug addict after his arrest starts behaving in a strange way. These drug addicts are difficult to handle even in lock-ups. They sometimes start rubbing their bodies, hitting their forehead, slapping their cheeks, crying and demanding drugs for survival. A police officer is always afraid of allowing any drug addict to visit washroom. Committing suicide because of non-availability of drugs is not a big deal for a drug addict,” he said and added that a lot of care is being taken to handle drug addicts in lock-ups.
Police have so for booked scores of drug peddlers and dug addicts under Public Safety Act. Police though is very active in curbing this menace but this poison is deep rooted and won’t end till society takes a broader initiative.
“It is not the duty of police only but the society ought to play a role to end this menace. Drug menace is the source of social crimes. It is right time to save Kashmir from this menace otherwise like ‘Udta Punjab’ there will be a Bollywood flick tomorrow by the name of ‘Udta Kashmir.”