Abdul Gani Mir, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Saturday asserted that eradication of drug addiction among youth was the toughest challenge after extremism in the state.
"After extremism, the toughest challenge which we are facing is drugs. It is an emerging menace in the society. It has shattered not only individuals and families but whole generation together," he said.
The IGP was addressing the commemoration function of five years of Police Drug De-addiction Centre in Srinagar at the Kashmir University.
"I have always emphasized this that we have lost one generation to violence and we cannot afford to lose another generation to drugs," he said.
The top official said though the magnitude of the problem in the Valley was not as big as in other states, the menace would affect a generation if it goes unchecked.
"Although the magnitude of this problem here is not as big as it is in some other states like Punjab, but if not checked right now, it will assume bigger proportions and affect our society, our youth and our generation together. It is in this context that JK police tried to understand its role and started contributing towards eradicating this menace," he said.
Mir noted that the state police was the only force in the country to take a lead in de-addiction process and established a Drug De-addiction Centre at the Police Control Room.
Muhammad Ashraf Wani, senior professor and dean academic affairs of Kashmir university, meanwhile accused the police officials of being "hand-in-glove" with the drug mafia.
"Police has started certain initiatives to tackle drug mafia across the state but in some of the cases, they are hand-in-glove with the drug mafia as they were facilitating them in carrying out their criminal activities," he said.
"Professor Wani pointed out that there is some co-operation going on between police and drug mafia. But then let me assure you that we have been trying our best in that area also. We have sent a lot of persons behind the bars under the Public Safety Act (PSA)," the IGP said, in response to the Dean's comment.
"I assure you that we will be more active in this because it is the cause which is very near to our hearts. It is not only for us but for the whole society," he said.
Mir also focused on the "responsibility" in the availability and sale of such drugs which are being abused.
"Till that happens, we cannot control the menace," he said.