May 2003 News

Ultras And Hashish On Commando Sights

25 May 2003
The Statesman

Jammu: Guess what the Army's Rashtriya Rifles troops are doing in Kashmir apart from launching anti-militancy operations? Destroying several crore rupees worth of poppy crops and thus coming to the rescue of the Central enforcement agencies when the J&K government fails! Perturbed over reports of large-scale poppy cultivation in Pulwama and Anantnag districts in south Kashmir, the Rashtriya Rifles has launched a massive anti-narcotics operation jointly with the Customs, destroying poppy crop worth several crore rupees. When J&K authorities refused to cooperate, the Customs' Preventive Division then sought help from the Rashtriya Rifles to destroy poppy crop spread over 224.73 hectares of paddy land in the two districts. Mr V Prabhakar, assistant commissioner, Customs, told reporters this was a deterrent campaign launched for the second consecutive year. The Customs are planning a crusade against hashish and unauthorised marketing of certain psychotropic medicines and drugs which are being consumed in increasing quantities by the urban youth, he said. Mr MS Kamra, superintendent in-charge of the Srinagar-based Anti- Narcotics Bureau, said cultivation in villages such as Panjipora and Haripari are well organised. Certain fields are as huge as six acres with vast swaths under cannabis cultivation too. Mr Prabhakar admitted that a portion of the illegal poppy production might be finding its way to the local bakery market, with opium and bukhy or goldy in great demand. Goldy is got by grinding the dried poppy pods in traditional grinding mills after the opium is extracted.


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