Stranded Kashmiris, Migrant Labourers Seek Quick Evacuation

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Jammu- Dozens of stranded Kashmiris and some migrant labourers on Saturday assembled outside the Divisional Commissioner office here and demanded early evacuation to their home, officials said.

The protesters alleged that the administration was not paying heed to their pleas and are shuttling them from one office to another for redressal of their grievances.

However, all of them dispersed off peacefully later, the officials said.

“We have been stranded here for the past 42 days and there is no word from the government for our evacuation,” Farooq Ahmad Shah, a resident of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, said.

He claimed that thousands of people from Kashmir, including labourers and patients, are stranded in Jammu and are living a miserable life without proper food and shelter.

“Police chase us when we visit the Civil Secretariat, while authorities in the Deputy Commissioner’s office demand us to visit the Divisional Commissioner’s office for movement passes,” he said, demanding deployment of SRTC vehicles for their early transportation to the Kashmir Valley.

A group of migrant labourers from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab also asked transport facility for their return journey to their homes without further delay.

“We are desperate to return to our homes. In the absence of public transport, we have no option but to foot the distance,” a labourer from Bihar said.

Meanwhile, National Panthers Party (NPP) chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh lambasted the Union Territory administration for its alleged failure to provide requisite assistance to the workforce held up in other parts of the country amidst hardships.

“While other states of the country have pressed special trains into service for eviction of labourers of their respective states, the Jammu and Kashmir authorities seemed to be in a state of utter confusion with regard to the modus operandi to be followed for evacuation of its workforce,” Singh said.

He alleged that the helplines given by authorities were either non-functional or non-responsive.

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