Poppy Cultivation In Kashmir
9 July 2009
: Satellite images of Jammu and Kashmir taken by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) have led to shocking revelations. Tracts of forest areas and uncultivated patches of land in the region are found to be under illegal poppy cultivation. This in turn has exposed the presence of a drug mafia with terror links.The Director of the Narcotics Control Bureau, Jammu zone, disclosed information here on Tuesday. The NCB's images show that southern parts of Kashmir such as Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Banihal, Udhampur and also the border belt in Poonch and Rajouri regions are being extensively used for poppy cultivation. Armed with these satellite images, the NCB is gearing up to conduct a physical surveillance to identify the exact location of the narcotics cultivated fields so that they can be destroyed at earliest. This satellite imaging is taken for the first time in the areas of Jammu and Kashmir and some other states are also included in this operation... The imaging operation has already been completed. Now that the areas are spotted by the satellite, we have to conduct surveillance physically, said M K Sharma, Zonal Director, NCB, Jammu. The NCB believes that the involvement of terror groups cannot be denied in poppy cultivation. Some militant groups have their involvement in this illicit cultivation because during 2007 a destruction operation was conducted in the area of Anantnag and Pulwama, where some firing from that area was met, and the police forces also retaliated to the firing. So we cannot rule out that the firing was by the militants. So it is very clear that the militants have some hands in this operation, Sharma added. Money generated from poppy cultivation in countries like Afghanistan has been used to fund terror related activities in the region.