Srinagar: The surge in drug abuse in Kashmir Valley has prompted Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to suggest setting up task forces to curb the menace.
Addressing congregational Friday prayers today, Kashmir’s chief cleric said he has asked elderly and youth to form task forces to deal with this pressing issue.
Giving details of the plan, he said people could form area-wise groups and task forces and devise plans to keep youth away from drugs.
“We have to act before the situation goes out of hand,” he said, adding that contraband drugs worth crores are being consumed by youth in the valley.
“While great alacrity is shown by the government and police to detain youth under draconian PSA for their political beliefs, little interest is shown by them to act against those involved in drug menace even in areas known to all,” he said.
He named Gani Stadium, surrounding areas of Makhdoom Sahab shrine, Malkhah graveyard, old buildings and adjoining areas around Eidgah as drug “dens” where suppliers distribute drugs among youth.
Kashmiri nation has to come together against this menace before it “turns uglier and the situation goes out of hand,” he said.
Mirwaiz said, “As per statistics available, a large percentage of youth are involved in drug abuse which will destroy their life and their future and that of their families.” He added that girls are also falling prey to it.
“We need to find out the reasons that is pushing our youth to take to drugs. The continued conflict, aggression and violence do play an important role in pushing the youth to find an outlet in this. Besides, ignorance of parents with regard to their children, peer pressure, domestic issues also seem to be contributing factors,” he added.
Mirwaiz urged people to take the issue seriously and to rise to the occasion so that the menace is rooted out from the Valley.
He urged every segment of society including parents, teachers, Imams, preachers, social activists and doctors to come forward and work for awareness and eradication of drug addiction.