Beyond militancy: J&K Police cultivating informers to fight drug menace

Online campaign to fight the drug menace has drawn public appreciation with potential informers seeking rewards like smartphones

Having cultivated a strong source network to combat militancy in restive Kashmir over the years, police now look ahead to groom a new breed of informers who can help the men-in-khaki weed out the drug menace. The Jammu and Kashmir Police has started an online campaign seeking public assistance for a massive crackdown on the drug mafia.
Senior Superintendent of Police Baramulla Imtiyaz Hussain took to Facebook to inform people that as cops remained largely busy to restore law and order in the wake of unrest of 2016, the drug mafia was making attempts to resurface to “poison the youth.”

The official has requested the “conscientious people” of the society to come forward with information in lieu of suitable rewards. The SSP has asked people to feel free to call on his mobile adding that “Your #identity will not be revealed and you will be suitably #rewarded.”

Here is his complete post:

Dear Friends,
If you recall, prior to 2016 #summer #unrest we had launched a massive #crackdown in #Baramulla district against #drug #pedlars and booked a lot of such #offenders under J&K PITND-#PSA and subsequently detained in #jails outside #valley. All #notorious criminals were detained for long durations and there was hardly anybody at large. This had resulted in massive #decrease of supply of drugs in the society. We have #reports that due to #preoccupation of #police in #law and #order issues during summer such elements are again attempting to #revive their dirty #business and supplying #poison to youth.

By means of this #post I #request all the #conscientious people of #society to come forward with #information about these elements so that a massive crackdown is again launched against them. You can directly call up me (#SSP Baramulla) on my cell number
Your #identity will not be revealed and you will be suitably #rewarded.

Warm Regards,
#Imtiyaz #Hussain
SSP Baramulla

Interestingly, this message, which is also posted on the official page of Baramulla Police, has attracted huge public appreciation with many praying that “Allah should reward the police official for the good job.”

The SSP says the public response has been “overwhelmingly positive.” “This is because people had last year seen results of a similar offensive when (ahead of unrest) a major crackdown was launched against drug peddlers and as many as 36 of them were booked under PSA,” Imtiyaz told InUth.

The official says he received numerous messages with people showing the willingness to fight drug abuse. The prospective informers look ahead for rewards, ranging anything from cash to smartphones. And police is willing to meet such demands provided information gives desired results.

But is sharing information to fight drug abuse like being “informer”, something often tabooed in restive Kashmir? “No they are not informers they are helpers or to say the responsible citizens from the society willing to weed out drug abuse as it concerns all of us, alike,” the SSP says.