Srinagar: A court in Kupwara rejected the bail application of five army personnel and four others accused of running a drug smuggling racket from the Line of Control in the north Kashmir district, report said.
The accused were arrested last month for smuggling drugs from Tangdhar sector along the Line of Control. Police also recovered a cache of drugs from their possession.
This is the second time in the last two months that security personnel have been arrested for drug smuggling from the Line of Control in Kupwara district.
On December 23, police in a major crackdown on drug smuggling originating from Pakistan arrested 17 people including five policemen.
According to the police, drugs were coming from Pakistan through Tangdhar sector and five soldiers posted in Panzgam area of Kupwara were involved in drug trafficking.
Today, when the bail application of arrested troops came for hearing before the Additional district and sessions judge, Kupwara, the court made strong observations against the accused and rejected their bail.
The court said that arrested troops were supposed to be protectors of society but they have turned out to be perpetrators in drug trafficking.
The court said the custody of the accused is necessary to arrest other members of the gang.
The accused troopers have been identified as Naib-Subedar Puran Singh, Anil Kumar (driver) Sepoy Sushil Kumar, Naik Waseem Ahmad Mir and Mohammad Shafiq Khan.
Four civilians arrested in the case are Mashkoor Sheikh (working as a porter with Army). Mohammad Yousaf Kothari, Saleem Sheikh and Mohammad Imran Teli.
For the last few months, police say they have launched a major crackdown on drug smuggling emanating from Pakistan.
In the last one year, police have registered 85 cases against more than 160 people involved in drug trafficking in the frontier district of Kashmir.
Cross-border drug smuggling has become a major challenge for the government and the involvement of security personnel in drug racket is accentuating the problem.,
A year ago, National Investigation Agency ( NIA) arrested a BSF officer posted in the Handwara area of Kupwara district on charges of cross-border drug smuggling linked with the Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist group.
The NIA had also recovered Rs 91 lakh cash from Romesh Kumar, a BSF sub-inspector. The cash was part of the proceeds of drug trafficking. (agencies)