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Sentencing of two narco-smugglers exposes POK, J &K, Punjab cross-border network

Pakistan has been regularly using the cross-border route in J&K to spread narco-terrorism in India (File photo).

Probably for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir, a district court has awarded rigorous imprisonment of 20 years each to two prominent characters of the valley’s narco-terror mafia spread across to Pakistan on Tuesday.

The landmark judgment came out from the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge in Kupwara against two smugglers, namely Syed Ishfaq Shah, son of Ghulam Mohiuddin Shah, and Khursheed Ahmad Gojar, son of Nawab ud din Gojar, both residents of Jabdi, Karnah. They were arrested in connection with FIR No.56/2019 at Police Station Karnah. Their arrest and sustained interrogation led to the recovery of 15 kilograms of brown sugar from their possession.

In addition to serving rigorous imprisonment for 20 years, each convict will also have to pay Rs 2 lakh as fine.

The investigation has conclusively established that the duo intended to transport huge consignments of narcotic substances from Karnah, on the LoC in Kashmir, to Punjab. It was established that the two smugglers had procured consignments of narcotic substances from across the LoC through one Bashir Ahmad, currently settled in the PoK. He is said to be a cousin of another narco- smuggler Khursheed Ahmad.

While Inspector Wasim Ahmad Badoo, the then SHO of Police Station Karnah, led the investigation, the legal battle was effectively fought by Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP) Rashid Dar on behalf of the State/Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The case was expedited and heard on a fast-track basis, with the efforts of the Pairvi cells, established under the guidance of the Police Headquarters, ensuring timely presence of witnesses and their testimonies.

This significant judgment underscores the unwavering commitment of the criminal justice system to combat narcotics smuggling and uphold the law. The exemplary teamwork exhibited by the investigative agencies and the legal counsel played a crucial role in bringing these narcotics smugglers to justice.

Officials said that a robust network of smugglers, indulging in cross-border smuggling of drugs and firearms in the entire valley, was engaged in sustenance of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. It had been created after abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 mainly to generate financial resources for terror cadres of different organisations.