Detention of Mohalla heads spearheading anti-drug menace drive sparks protest in old city

Srinagar, Jun 21: The detention of two Mohall Committee heads Friday sparked a protest in old Srinagar city, while the protesters who took out a rally from Nowhatta to Makdhoom Sahab accused police of harassing those who have waged a war against drug addiction.
The protesters carrying placards and banners said that two elderly heads of Makhdhoom Sahab Colony including president Mohalla Committee, Muhammad Yousuf Makhdoomi (60) and Chairman Basharat Andrabi (55) have been languishing in police station Nowhatta from past three days while their only fault is that they supported those young men who are keeping a vigil on drug addicts in the vicinity.
The protesters said that Tujgari Mohalla, Jabkari Mohalla have become the hub of drug smuggling and consumption. “We have formed a Mohalla Committee to stop this drug menace. From time to time we apprehended drug peddlers and handed them over to police. Police cooperated with us but this time when we caught big fish, we were accused of manhandling them. Our Mohalla heads were arrested while no action were taken against peddlers from whom we recovered charas and liquor. They included a doctor, and engineer and an NRI,” said a couple of protesters.
They said if raising voice against drug menace is a crime, they will commit it them repeatedly.
A police official said that they appreciate the role of local public in eradication of drug menace but added that nobody has a right to take law in his own hands and mercilessly thrash any suspect. “A couple of days ago some youth caught hold of few persons and thrashed them mercilessly on the suspicion of carrying liquor. The victims lodged a complaint on which we acted upon and arrested the accused,” the police official said. (CNS)