NC Demands STF To Reach Out To Stranded J&K Residents

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Jammu: The National Conference on Saturday appealed to the administration to evolve a mechanism by forming a special task force to reach out to the people from Jammu and Kashmir who are stranded in various parts of the country due to the lockdown.

The National Panthers Party and CPI(M) also raised the issue of the stranded people and sought their immediate return to their homes.

“Even as the lockdown has become the only viable option to fight the pandemic, its fallout on different segments of the society is also required to be taken into account for earnest redressal,” NC Provincial President Devender Singh Rana said in a statement here.

He referred to the pitiable condition of Jammu and Kashmir residents, especially students, patients and their attendants, professionals and labourers who have got stuck up in various parts of the country due to abrupt announcement of the lockdown and called for their evacuation on a war-footing.

“A Special Task Force should be created to reach out to the stranded people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the NC leader said.

He also expressed hope that a strategy will be adopted for safe passage of over 1,500 local residents stranded in Pathankot to Jammu and the Valley.

Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh also called for an exit plan for safe evacuation of the local residents stranded outside the Union Territory.

“The Centre as well as state governments needed to appreciate their peculiar concerns and devise a suitable strategy for their safe return. It was an undisputed fact that not all stranded labourers were getting enough food, medicine and other essential items of daily use with a vast majority having become cash starved and even shelter less,” he said.

With patience of such stranded labourers and work force fast running out, the situation could take an ugly turn if not handled appropriately, the NPP leader warned.

CPI (M) leader M Y Tarigami said the decision of the Uttar Pradesh government to send 250 buses to pick up about 9,000 stranded students and drop them to their native districts from Kota in Rajasthan must be replicated by Jammu and Kashmir administration to bring back the stranded people across the country, especially north India.

“We have been demanding the evacuation of stranded J&K students, labourers, traders, patients and others on similar patterns for the last two weeks. What stops the J & K administration to follow the same pattern to bring back its stranded people?” he asked.

He said it is “unfortunate” that even Kashmiris stranded in Jammu are not being brought back by the administration.

“Special transport arrangements must be made for them and after their return, due COVID-19 protocols must be followed,” he said.

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