In a major success against drug trafficking and possible narco-terrorism, the Jammu and Kashmir police today seized 51 kilograms of high-grade Afghan-origin heroin worth over Rs 250 crore from a Punjab-bound truck here.
The police also arrested the truck driver and his helper following "the biggest ever catch" in Jammu region and are questioning them to unveil the persons involved in the drug trafficking, Jammu's Inspector General of Police S D Singh Jamwal told reporters here this evening.
Without ruling out the possibility of the consignment being part of narco-terrorism with the sale proceeds of the consignment meant for terror funding, the IGP said, It's a matter of investigation and we are on the job.
Terming the catch as the biggest surgical strike on the menace of drugs, the Jammu police chief said the truck laden with scrap paper was going to Punjab from Handwara area of north Kashmir's border district Kupwara and was intercepted by the police near Narwal-Bhatindi bypass on outskirts of the city on a specific information.
The consignment kept in 51 packets of one kilogram each was concealed in a specially created cavity on the side walls of the truck, he said, adding that the timely seizure of the consignment saved the lives of the youth.
It is an alarming situation the drug traffickers are using Jammu as a transit route to smuggle narcotics to Punjab, Delhi and other parts of the country and even abroad, the IGP said, adding 90 per cent of the heroin smuggled to the world comes form Afghan-Pakistan region and "the notorious agency of Pakistan" is involved in its smuggling.
Asked how it was possible to smuggle such a huge quantity of heroin through the borders which were being guarded round-the-clock, Jamwal said the geography of the region and tough terrain posed an acute challenge to the security agencies.
We are having a great synergy and trying to ensure foolproof security (along the Line of Control). The security is all time high, he said.
Jamwal, however, said the police were making an all-out effort to wipe out the menace of illegal drugs and would continue its efforts with double vigour.
Asked about the linkages between the narcotics and terrorism, the IGP said the two are closely linked to each other but at this stage we can neither confirm nor rule out anything. Our investigation is going on and it will come to the fore once the investigation is complete.
He identified the arrested persons as driver Gurdeep Singh and conductor Ravi Kumar, both residents of Jammu, and said, We are checking our records to ascertain their antecedents and involvement in drug peddling. So far, no such thing has come to the fore.
In reply to another question about the possibility of drug dealers roping in people with no criminal background, he said it was quite possible and it was a challenge for the police.
The IGP, however, said he was confident that the police with its professional skills and determination would be able to meet the challenge successfully.
The IGP said the crack team of the police involved in the operation would be suitably rewarded.
The Jammu police made the sensational seizure on a day when it, along with the Excise Department officials intercepted another drug consignment comprising of 1400 kgs of poppy husk from a fruit-laden truck in Kathua district.
The Punjab-bound truck was intercepted at a toll post in Lakhanpur bordering Punjab, the police said, adding that the truck driver too was arrested in the case.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)