Kasol village in Parvati Valley of Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh is also known as the mini-Israel of India. This is not just a fancy word but the place has got its nickname for a reason. Hundreds of Israelis visit Kasol year around. Many of them decide to become permanent residents of the place by either marrying the locals or starting small businesses by renting shops in the region.
Apart from the splendid beauty of the Parvati Valley, another important aspect of Kasol which attracts foreign tourists towards itself is the extensive narco-trade going on in the region for more than 3 decades.
The reason? The late night raves also call full moon parties which became popular in the 1980s and haven’t seen a fall in their trend even today. The invitations for such parties are sent out through word of mouth so that they remain as secretive as possible. The entry fees for such parties is unbelievably high (5,000 pounds to 12,000 pounds). Narco-trade thrives on such parties where the sale of such products is very high.
As many as 167 people were arrested under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act for illegally cultivating and trading in cannabis and other such drugs. These people included 137 Indians and 30 foreigners.
Not only this, Kasol has also given way to more than 100 illegal eateries to thrive in the place. When the High Court of Himachal Pradesh asked the district administration to look into all the illegal activities going on in the region, the latter became alert instantly.
District administration has now put up several dedicated teams to keep a check on all the illegal activities. They are asked to submit weekly reports of the action taken against such activities. “The teams have been directed to file a weekly action taken reports,” said Yunus, Kullu deputy commissioner.
On the crackdown of narco-trade in the village, Kullu superintendent of police Shalini Agnihotri said, “The parties are organized in places, which are inaccessible by road and it is usually a 30-40 minute trek.” She further stated, “Police have also asked the district administration to crack down on restaurants running without permission.”
Amid all such search operations and crackdowns, a new story has come up wherein a terrorist, belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba named Sheikh Abdul Naeem, has been arrested in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh. The terrorist has confirmed that the terror group had been conducting secret researchers in the region for a long time and that Israeli population was on their radar. The terrorist also claimed that they had already found out about the Israelis living in Kasol and Jari region of Kullu and Dharamkot area of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh.
This has posed a threat, not only to the Israeli population but the locals as well. Though the police administration has denied revealing any information on the matter, yet their alertness in action is an evidence of how serious the matter is. Secret investigation agencies in India, as well as those present internationally, have also become active, seeking information regarding the matter.
An important leakage in this regard is that there are no records whatsoever of the inter-state laborers who have come to Himachal Pradesh to work. The government and the administration lack any records containing detailed information about such laborers, thus making it easy for terrorists to enter the area.
Just last year in December, ISIS terrorist Aabid Khan was arrested from Banjar Valley in Kullu, confirming that terrorist activities have been going on in the area for a long time. It is now quite important for the administration of Kullu to bring the terror racket in the district to an end, thereby making it safer for the people to live and thrive in. If not, the state can be the next target of the terrorists very soon.