Since last several decades the people of Indian held territory of Jammu and Kashmir have been in the eye of the storm. On one hand people are suffering from Indian oppression and suppression on daily basis while on the other fast spreading army bases/camps established in high and low of the valley have become yet another problem for the common Kashmiris. There are reports that these army camps, which have been setup near residential areas, were playing a role of facilitator in spreading Alcoholism in the society thereby providing youngsters free access to alcohol.
A study, conducted by an international NGO, Action Aid International on drug abuse in South Kashmir’s Islamabad district has revealed that Indian troops were involved in promoting alcoholism in the southern district. Apart from their normal counterinsurgency role, many Army camps are found to help the locals to have a free access to alcohol, which otherwise is not easy within the regular socio-cultural setting of Kashmir,” says the study released on “International Day of Drug Abuse”. The study said that the army personnel involved in this trade provide the supply of alcohol to anybody, irrespective of age. As a result more and more adolescent boys are getting involved in its use. “Besides taking the local produce of Bang, Charas and Hashish the adolescents also take pharmaceutical substances, injections (Fotwin, Avil), sedatives, barbiturates (sleeping pills), stimulants, expectorants as a means to relax their psyche”, the study added.
The study, which was conducted several years ago, said “about 45 percent of the district’s youth in the age group of 15-30 years are involved in drug abuse. Since then this illicit trade had unfortunately spread throughout the valley under the patronage of uniformed drug peddlers. Over the years this insidious campaign has turned into a devastating monster that is taking its heavy toll on Kashmiri society that has already been reeling under several vexing problems.
It is quite alarming that occupation army has been patronizing this devastating campaign and the sinister design behind this systematic campaign is to destroy the youth of Kashmir that have been playing the role of a vanguard in the ongoing struggle for right to self-determination. A deliberate attempt to promote alcoholism, immorality amongst the youth of Kashmir speaks volumes about India’s ill-will against Kashmiris. The growing drug abuse in the valley is in fact an inherent part of militarization, violence and massive military concentration in the troubled region. But Indian bid to destroy the social and human ethos of the Kashmiri society by resorting to such mean tactics reveals the reality as how low Indians can stoop to conquer Kashmiris.
Voicing his serious concern over the situation the Hurriyat Chairman Syed Ali Geelani said, “All this is being done to make our society hollow so that we lose our morals, values and traditions”. “These are the offshoots of forced control,” Geelani said, while referring to social evils. Mr. Geelani has rightly pointed out that the surging menace of systematic drug abuse is an offshoot of illegal and forcible Indian occupation over the territory. The people of the disputed region will continue to reel under uncertainty until sincere and genuine efforts are made to resolve this long pending dispute that has now assumed dangerous propositions. And demilitarization of Kashmir valley is the first step towards a right direction.