In the last few months there has been an increase in the reports about drug peddlers and smugglers being arrested in the state or near the state border. A slew of reports about state police arresting the criminals trying to smuggle drugs in the state have seized the attention of the concerned people, if not the government. Yesterday, in Jammu’s Bathindi area two men were arrested with at least 50 kilograms of heroin while as in a major bust 1400 kilograms of poppy husk was seized in Kathua district. Reports about drugs and substances like cannabis, opium and heroin being smuggled in the state is not a new phenomenon. The J&K Police in January said that it has arrested 1213 persons in connection with its anti-drug drives and registered 888 cases against drug peddlers in 2017. The police also said it had seized over 16,000 kgs of narcotics during this period. However, frequent police busts and seizures lately have brought the issue under the spotlight. If the state police’s role is to be considered, it claims to tackle the problem at two fronts – by nabbing the criminals involved in the drugs and narcotics trade and second by looking after the facility of drug de-addiction where treatment and rehabilitation is provided. Yet the same old concern is raised whenever police claims of leading the war against narcotics in the state – why hasn’t the deterrent become stronger over the years with police arrests. People generally have developed negative perception about the police and authorities while combating illegal activities and in this case smuggling of the narcotics. One many occasions they have alleged that police officials are either lenient towards the smugglers or in some cases some lower rung cops have acted as accomplices. There have also been allegations that some spots in various vicinities have turned into safe havens for addicts and peddlers with local police stations aware about the menace. While the de-addiction programme of the police has been lauded as sharing the social responsibility besides law enforcement in the state, a large number of police stations have earned a bad reputation while dealing with the criminals. The police top brass must explain as why there are growing incidents of drug smuggling and peddling in the state despite the arrests. If arrests are not making much difference in curbing the menace, then alternatives need to be found. The menace needs to be nipped in the bud.