Srinagar, Jan 30: City’s largest cemetery, popular known as Malkha, has become a safe haven for drug peddlers and gamblers causing a lot of inconvenience to locals.
Manzoor Ahmad, a resident of Sikanderpora Rainawari, said that after the sunset youth taking drugs has become a normal activity in and around the cemetery.
“At night it becomes difficult for women and elderly people to go outside of their homes in fear of getting looted. Many such incidents have happened in the past and most of them have gone unreported,” Manzoor said.
The inhabitants of the area have many times approached the police, but according to locals, drug menace in the area has not ended, instead is increasing with every passing day.
The locals said that boys of age around 14 to 20 years old can be seen inside and around the graveyard taking drugs and gambling.
“We had formed a local committee to keep a vigil and to stop this drug menace in our locality. We used to inform the police whenever we found anyone inside the graveyard taking drugs or playing cards, though police acted on many occasions, the area is still to get respite from this menace,” a local resident said.
An elderly man, wishing anonymity, said 30 years back there used to be a police post in Sikanderpora near the chinar tree to keep a vigil on immoral activities in and around the graveyard.
“The stationed police personnel would often petrol in the area and nobody would dare to do anything wrong at that time, but things have changed now. Today I see alcohol bottles in the graveyard, people gambling. This is so painful to watch. So many saints are buried in this graveyard,” they said.
“We request the LG Manoj Sinha to direct the police to go tough on those people who are luring the youth towards the drug menace,” he said.
“Just a few days back I saw a group of five boys taking alcohol, as I tried to scold them, they all turned their eyes on me as if they wanted to kill me, fearing for my life I left the place quickly,” another local said.
A local gravedigger told the news agency, that in the night he takes along a few more men with him fearing of being getting attacked by the drug addicts.
The locals of the area appealed authorities to take stringent action against the people who are involved in rising drug abuse in the area so that the people can take a sigh of relief.