Coronavirus: Facilitate safe return of J&K’s stranded residents, says Tarigami

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Srinagar

Senior CPI (M) leader and former MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf  Tarigami on Thursday said that as the lockdown to contain coronavirus spread continues across the country, thousands of Jammu and Kashmir residents, including labourers and students, are stuck within and outside India.

In a statement Tarigami said that the lockdown has made their survival difficult as these include women and children as well.

“A good number of people, especially those dealing with handicrafts, labourers and students from J&K are stranded in different parts of the country including Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and other parts of mainland India, who have sent distress calls to their families. They have exhausted their earnings and are facing immense difficulties,” said Tarigami.

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He said that a group of Kashmir labourers who were reportedly putting up in a tent in Himachal Pradesh were told by the police to vacate the tent.

“The plight of these migrant workers, who are unable to pay for rent or food, is appalling. Several patients from Jammu and Kashmir, who had gone to Delhi and Chandigarh for treatment, are stuck there due to the lockdown,” he said.

“I have been told that some students, labourers, traders and patients with their attendants were returning to their homes after hectic efforts but were not allowed to move towards Kashmir at Lakhanpur toll post,” he added.

“All these stranded people from Jammu and Kashmir want to come back and remain in mandatory quarantine,” said Tarigami in a statement.

Tarigami said that it is imperative to maintain social distancing. But on the other hand, those stranded can’t be left unattended.

“There is lot of uncertainty among their families.If the evacuation of these stranded people from J&K is not possible at the moment due to the unprecedented situation, the least government of India could do is to reach out to them with the help of respective state governments where they are stranded in. They must be treated in a humane manner, by providing them with enough food, water, beds and supplies as well as psycho-social counselling,” said Tarigami in a statement.

He said that the J&K government should also ask its administration to prepare a database of those stranded within and outside J&K and take up the matter with the respective state governments so that food, shelter, medicines and other necessary items could be provided to them in these pressing circumstances.

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“This is a human tragedy which continues to unfold before our eyes. Everybody in this situation has a right to go home when so much fear and frenzy has been created,” said Tarigami in a statement.

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