A day after a survey revealed a startling disclosure that Jammu and Kashmir has 6 lakh people affected by drug-related issues, the Director-General of Police (DGP), Dilbag Singh on Sunday blamed Pakistan for targeting youngsters by making them habitual of drugs.

Notable in an official meeting on Saturday, it was informed that as per a consumption survey, J&K has 6 lakh people affected by drug-related issues, which are approximately 4.6% population of the Union territory of which 90% users are from 17-33 age group.

Interacting with a news agency, the DGP said that the narcotics menace, especially heroin, was scaling new heights in Kashmir with experts warning that a majority of the young people may fall prey to drug abuse.

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Pakistan playing a dirty game in Punjab, J&K

Singh said that Pakistan was playing a dirty game in Punjab and Jammu by spoiling the youth with drugs. "Pakistan is repeating the same dirty game that they played in Punjab — first giving arms training and later spoiling the youth with drugs," he observed.

When his attention was drawn towards apprehensions aired by experts that Kashmir has lost a generation to conflict and may lose the next to drug abuse, Singh replied, "Definitely, yes and I have no two opinions about it."

He revealed that the drug menace has shown a considerable increase in the last two years and the narcotics are smuggled from Punjab and Jammu borders.

"We had some good seizures too. We know that sale proceeds of the drugs are pumped into funding terrorism and, therefore, we have been extra vigilant about it and taking efforts to curb it," he said.

Karnah, Anantnag, some areas of Jammu are the worst affected areas

The main areas affected by the drug menace are Karnah in North Kashmir, Anantnag in South Kashmir, and some areas of Jammu.

Dilbag Singh

The DGP said that police have taken a leading role in setting up drug de-addiction centres in Srinagar and Jammu while some more are coming up in North Kashmir.

He suggested that it was high time for socio-religious leaders to step in on an urgent basis to wean away youth from the menace. "Today, we have time, and tomorrow we may not have it. So, it is better to act now and act fast," the police chief said in his appeal.

Children of the age group of 12 and 13 years taking drugs

Revealing how this menace is spoiling future generations of J&K, Dr. Mohammed Muzzafar Khan, who heads the de-addiction centre of police in Srinagar, said "Earlier, we found boys of18 and above age group were addicted to drugs but now there are cases of 12 and 13-yea-old".

He further revealed that the nature of drug abuse has changed as well. Earlier, it was charas or medicinal opioids but now heroin is replacing them.

He said youths get addicted to heroin quickly and within days become dependent on injections to inject drugs intravenously and the menace is spread across Kashmir in its urban and rural areas and among the rich and poor population.