Get us safe passage home, Kashmiris stranded outside to govt

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by Salma Masood

Srinagar

Pressure is mounting on the government to offer safe passage for the people stuck in Jammu and other parts of India.

Complains of Kashmiris’ being harassed throughout the country have been continuously pouring in. This came as a fallout of the attack on CRPF convoy at Lethpora area of Pulwama which killed 49 army men.

Scores of Kashmiri students and other travellers were assaulted by mobs in Jammu and other states. Many people were forced to stay on roads after being thrown out of accommodations.

Adding to the woes of the people are increasing airfares. Speaking on the issue Shah Faesal took to Twitter to express concern for the people in distress. “Delhi-Srinagar airfare has touched Rs 35,000 and still tickets are not available. People are in extreme distress due to the prevailing situation. I request @MoCA_GoI @sureshpprabhu @ushapadhee1996 @goairlinesindia @airvistara @IndiGo6E @airindiain @AirAsia for additional flights,” he tweeted.

Later on, while talking to Kashmir Life he said that there is a huge crowd of students and traders at the Delhi Airport who want to fly back to their homes.

“These insecurities need to be managed and special flights should be arranged because people are very anxious,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jammu Muslim Front (JMF) has appealed the administration to provide a safe passage or airlift the threatened Kashmiris’ stuck in Jammu.

In a statement, the president of JMF, Qazi Imran said that thousands of people are taking shelter at Jamia Masjid, Talab Khatikan. “Lack of early action has worsened the situation and it is due to utmost failure of the administration here,” he said.

The locals have set up a community kitchen (Langar) for the stranded Kashmiris’. One of the beneficiaries, Sheikh Bilal Nabi said that people have no money left and the ATMs’ are out of service. “We are thankful to the people coming forward to help us. But I am very saddened by the lack of harmony. We have always welcomed people in Kashmir so they should help us too in the hour of despair,” Sheikh said.

Pertinently, curfew continues to be imposed for the fourth consecutive day. Although relaxation was given in areas falling under five Police Stations including Gandhi Nagar (except Police Post Nehru Park & Digiana), Channi Himmat, Sainik Colony, Trikuta Nagar & Satwari (except Police Posts Belicharana & Gadighat) from 2 pm to 5 pm today.

Late last night a convoy of 600 buses protected by police carrying Kashmiris’ left from Jammu. SSP Traffic said that some people have already reached Kashmir. “A landslide has occurred at Marog and the passage is narrow. It might take some time but there is no huge rush and the traffic is uninterrupted,” he confirmed.

However, some people who have reached Udhampur are complaining that Tavera vehicle operators are demanding 2500-3000 transport fare to Kashmir.

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