PESHAWAR: More ice (methamphetamine) addicts are involved in violent crimes as a number of young boys are regularly falling prey to the synthetic drug across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
There were a number of incidents of murder, attempted- murder, robberies, theft, snatching, sexual abuse and other crimes where the accused were found regularly consuming ice. One Mohammad Asif, a drug addict, allegedly opened fire at his mother and a niece over a petty issue in the limits of the Matani police station in the first week of August.
A few days later, one Raza Ali allegedly shot his wife dead and injured his daughter Saima and son Danyal on Warsak Road. Police said the accused was a drug addict. The injured daughter of the accused sought protection against her father through social media.
"Never ever consume ice as you will have to pay a heavy price for it. It will ruin your lives and families. I shot my sweetest brother under the influence of this drug," said a young man behind bars in a video after he was held for murder of his brother on a petty issue. The accused claimed he was under the influence of ice when he had opened fire on his brother.
There were a number of other incidents in the recent past in which the criminals had consumed ice and other drugs before committing crimes in Peshawar and many other KP districts. "The ice addicts are also involved in snatching, robberies, theft. Many of them don't hesitate to open fire when offered resistance," said a cop.
A few months back, a coach driver in Paharipura allegedly intoxicated a child with ice to sexually abuse him. The boy was later found lying in a deserted place. He told family and police that he used to be drugged by the driver for the last several days. In many incidents of sexual assault on children, the accused appeared to be drug addicts.
Some reports said young girls were forced to become ice addicts to later become dancers and entertainers in parties which have become a regular feature in posh localities of many cities in the country.
More drugs are consumed during these parties hosted in rented houses, basements and farm houses, reports said. There are reports of a number of major gangs of ice and heroin operating in the urban and suburban areas of Peshawar and rest of the districts of KP that smuggle the drugs anywhere in cities, villages and suburban towns.
The easy availability of ice has resulted in an increase in the number of addicts, including youth and even teenagers in the last few years. Young boys and even women under the influence of drugs were seen in videos which went viral in recent days. A large number of addicts can be seen on footpaths and roadside just opposite Karkhano, Hayatabad, Faqirabad, GT Road, Kohat Road, Ring Road and other areas.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police and other departments have been carrying out operations against the drug mafia almost on a daily basis but all this could not stop the increasing use of narcotics in the province, especially among the youth and students. Apart from the police, the Excise and other forces hardly made any significant recovery or arrest of the traffickers.
Only in Peshawar, the police bosses claimed to have arrested over 1100 top drug dealers during the last eight months. According to officials 227 kilograms of ice, 247 KGs heroin , 358 KG opium and over 2500 KGs of hashish was recovered during the period.
A number of addicts were also sent to the rehabilitation centres a few days back. More people are found at these places a few days after the operation carried out by the local administration, police and other relevant departments. People wonder as to how many dealers and gangs are still operating after such a large number of arrests during the current and the past years.
They also wonder how majority of them were released on ban if the cases are properly investigated and pieces of evidence collected. After the launch of Narcotics Eradication Teams, the KP Police carried out some successful actions but the challenge is still there.
Apart from the NET, the police authorities have sent lists to the police stations concerned after identifying the big fish involved in the business. Some of the drug dealers are said to be avoiding arrest by using their links and influence. Many drug sellers were arrested in vicinity of universities and other educational institutions and hostels after reports of an alarming increase of ice consumption among the students in recent years.
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