Slain Bihar Vendors Kin: Kashmiris are Humane & Generous

Srinagar- A Golgappa vendor from Bihar is seen showering praise on Kashmiri people for their humane and generous behavior towards outsiders cutting across the lines of religion in a video that is making rounds on the social media platforms.

The vendor happens to be the close relative of Virendra Paswan, a Golgappa vendor, who was shot dead by militants a few days back in Lal Bazar, Srinagar.

However, police claimed the militant involved in the killing of Virendra Paswan was gunned down during an encounter with the security forces at Shopian on Wednesday.

Pankaj Paswan, a vendor from Bihar, selling Golgappa in Srinagar was showering all praise for the people who looked after him during the tough times after the abrogation of Article 370 from the Jammu and Kashmir and spread of Covid-19.

In the video he is heard saying: "Last year during the COVID-19 restrictions, the people in my vicinity where I am staying as a tenant came to know that I have nothing to eat, they dropped all kitchen items including eatables including rice, flour, cooking oil, chili powder, turmeric besides many things in my house for my survival’.

“I am Hindu by religion, staying here for the past 27 years, Paswan said and my family also lives with me for the last 12 years.”

“We used to go to Bihar after every three-four months and come back again doing our business here without any fear,” he said.

He said that I was a young kid when I started selling different items here in Kashmir, now I am 48-years-old still doing my job here without any fear whatsoever.

“Kashmir is my next home, how could I leave this place”, he said and added “It feeds bread and butter to my family.”

“I have never seen any uneasy atmosphere because of the good behavior of the local people living here,” Paswan said.

He said: “The people are very good and friendly and wherever I put up my makeshift shop they never object” and added “truly speaking I have nowhere seen the friendly and generous people like Kashmiri.”

It is pertinent to mention that about six to seven lakh people from other states including Bihar, UP and Rajasthan visit Kashmir every year to eke out a living.

Paswan said during the COVID-19 restriction I stayed here and only local people looked after me as they were aware I could not put my stall anywhere due to virus threat.

He said that they used to deliver every item from milk to vegetables and edible oil to my place.

“I never went begging or sought help from anyone. They were coming often on their own and dropping every item to my place for me” Paswan said. “I have never seen people so nice and humane like the people of Kashmir.”

In Bihar, we have never seen a neighbour looking after another neighbour, or a person caring for another during his hard times. All this happens only here in Kashmir …I have seen it, he told the reporter who asked him certain questions. “What made them to help an outsider, drop rice and

other eatables to my place,” he quipped.

He said neither the situation here is bad nor the people. People are very good and the atmosphere is much better. I have no threat.

He said we were not told by the local people to leave the valley during the abrogation of Article 370, it was the government order to leave Kashmir. People here were saying if we die you will also die with us. If we stay alive, you will also be safe.

We have no fear. If we fear we will not be able to earn a livelihood. We have to look after our children and family, Paswan added.  (UNI)

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