Targeted Killings Create ‘Fear-Psychosis’ in Migrant Workers

Non-local labourers in Bihari Chowk. KO Photo by Syed Burhan.

Five non-local labourers among eleven civilians have been killed in targeted killings in Kashmir in the last 15 days.

Srinagar- Mohammed Munna, a migrant labourer from Bihar, is planning to leave the valley after a fresh spurt of targeting killings created an atmosphere of fear among his tribe in the valley.

“I don’t want to stay here,” Munna told Kashmir Observer. “I just want to go back to my village. I’d come from Bihar to earn a living in the valley but after witnessing such brutal killings, it’s better to travel to Bihar.”

Fresh killings on Saturday triggered a fear-flight among the non-local labourers with scores of them planning to leave the valley at the earliest. The crisis situation escalated on Sunday after the two non-local labourers were shot dead in Kulgam district of South Kashmir.

Notably, eleven civilians have been killed in targeted killings in Kashmir in the last 15 days including five non local labourers. Rattled by these attacks, many migrant labourers have expressed strong intentions to temporarily leave the valley.

“We’d come from Bihar to earn something for our family but here in Kashmir, we are getting killed,” Waseem, another non-local labourer told Kashmir Observer. “We don’t deserve this and it is better that we leave the valley and shift back to Bihar.”

Both Munna and Waseem live in a neighbourhood near the Bihari Chowk in Srinagar. The square is a bustling hub during the morning hours when dozens of outside labourers turn up for work.

Another non-local labourer from Bihar told Kashmir Observer that the targeted killings of non-locals in the valley have forced many non-local labourers to leave the valley before the arrival of winters.

“We don’t know when we’ll return back to the valley but for now, it’s way better to leave Kashmir than to die of fear,” Muhammad Ghalib, a non-local welder, said.

Notably, since the beginning of this year, as per the data available with Kashmir Observer, 32 civilians have been killed. Out of 32, 5 persons belong to the local Hindu/Sikh community and 6 non-local Hindu labourers.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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