Srinagar : The Minister of Home Affairs, Government of India, on Wednesday said that there is no data or survey available to suggest an increase in smuggling and consumption of narcotics and drugs in Jammu and Kashmir in the last 5 years.
In a written reply to a query in Rajya Sabha, the MHA however said that various measures have been taken to deal with the menace of Narco-terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
“There is no data/study to indicate increase in smuggling and consumption of narcotics/drugs in Jammu and Kashmir in the last 5 years,” Minister of State, MHA, Nityanand Rai, said in the reply to the question by member Rajya Sabha Sanjay Singh, asking the ministry to state the increase in the smuggling and consumption of narcotics/drugs in Jammu and Kashmir during the last five years.
However to a question about the number of people afflicted with drug addiction in J&K, the percentage of increase during the period, Rai said: “As per survey conducted by Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment on Extent and Pattern of Substance use in India through the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi during 2018 for which report was released in February, 2019 the estimated number of users, substance-wise, in Jammu & Kashmir is: Cannabis 1,36,000, Opioids 4,47,000, Cocaine 1,000 and
Amphetamines type stimulants 1,000.”
Regarding the total number of cases of drug smuggling registered which occurred via Pakistan and Afghanistan during the period, Rai said that as per report of NCRB, the number of cases of drug smuggling registered in J&K include 743 in 2017, 680 in 2018, 918 in 2019, 933 in 2020 and 1324 in 2021.
However, he said, there is no clear cut evidence of drugs being smuggled from across the border i.e. Pakistan and Afghanistan in these cases.
To a question whether any plan has been implemented by Government to deal with the menace of “narco-terrorism” in Jammu and Kashmir, Rai said that various steps have been taken by government of India to deal with it.
Among others, Rai said, National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been empowered under NDPS Act 1985 for investigation of Narco terrorism cases and to keep check at the land borders, Border Security Force, has been empowered under the Narcotics Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act for making interdiction of narcotic drugs.
The Government, he said, has introduced the NCORD mechanism in 2016 to have effective coordination of actions among various Ministries, Departments, Central and States law enforcement agencies dealing with narcotics. “The mechanism was restructured in 2019 into a 4 tier structure—Apex Level Committee (headed by Union Home Secretary), Executive Level Committee (headed by Special Secretary (IS), MHA), State Level Committee (headed by Chief Secretary of the concerned State) and District Level Committee (Headed by District Magistrate),” the reply, a copy of which lies GNS reads.
The NCORD mechanism has been further strengthened by addition of new members at different levels to make it more effective and comprehensive, Rai said. “Dedicated Anti Narcotic Task Force has been established in the UT of Jammu & Kashmir, which will also function as the NCORD secretariat for the UT.” (GNS)