'Heroin being manufactured in the Valley'
16 June 2006
Devesh K. Pandey
New Delhi: The heroin consignment allegedly seized from two residents of Jammu and Kashmir, who were arrested here by the Narcotics Branch of the Delhi police on Thursday, is suspected to have been manufactured in the Valley. The police are probing if the case has a narco- terrorism angle to it. Going by the purported revelations made by the accused Rauf Ahmed Khan, a resident of Pulwama, poppy cultivation has become a lucrative business in and around Pulwama, as it is the basic raw material for manufacturing heroin. In fact, enforcement agencies have been carrying out operations in Pulwama and Anantnag areas of Kashmir against illegal poppy cultivation and large fields have been destroyed. However, the police have strong suspicion that heroin is now being manufactured in the Valley. According to sources, the heroin allegedly recovered from the possession of Rauf and his accomplice, Ghulam Qadir Butt, does not appear to have originated from any place other than Kashmir. Initial examination revealed that its quality does not match with the one smuggled in from Afghanistan, which is considered to be the purest form of heroin produced anywhere in the world. 'It is highly unlikely that the heroin originated from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh or Uttar Pradesh. The accused have also disclosed that they had procured the consignment from Kashmir. If it is true that heroin is being manufactured in the Valley, it would be a dangerous trend,' said a senior police officer. Remand The police have obtained 10 days remand of Rauf, who runs a video-parlour in Pulwama, to probe the matter further. At his instance, they plan to mount raids to track down the suppliers. The police would also videograph a survey they would soon conduct on poppy cultivation in the area. 'We would also try to trace heroin-manufacturing units, if any, operating there,' the police officer added. Apart from poppy cultivation, some farmers in Jammu and Kashmir are also cultivating the cannabis plant from which high-quality hashish is manufactured. The quality of the hashish is considered second only to the one found in Nepal.