Many students, including girls, from Jammu and Kashmir have been stranded in Ludhiana in the wake of nationwide lockdown and curfew in Punjab. Small shawl traders, who had come to the state to sell their products, are also waiting for nod to travel to their native places in Kashmir, reported The Times Of India.
“We are 15 students who are doing bachelors in homeopathy from a college in Ludhiana. Most of us are doing internship and had to leave for home after lockdown was declared. But we later heard that the administration in J&K is not allowing the people to enter and is keeping them in quarantine centres near the Punjab border. So, we are staying here only,” newspaper The Times OF India quoted Uzma, a student from Doda district as saying.
She said students belong to Kashmir province and Doda, Kishtwar, Samba, Rajouri districts in Jammu region.
Another student who stays with girls from J&K said since they don’t stay in the hostel, they had bought month’s grocery, but that had almost finished. She said they couldn’t go out as there is police presence in the area, so they were facing problems. “Thankfully, an NGO helped us and dropped grocery at our place,” said the student.
Students wanted the UT administration to make arrangement for their travel back home. “There is lot of uncertainty about the lockdown period. We hadn’t applied for a relevant pass from here as we knew that even if we go from here, the J&K administration will get us quarantined near Lakhanpur. We want to go home. We are upset just like our parents over there. The government should facilitate our return,” said Diksha Verma, a student from Ghagwal in Samba district. She indicated that they don’t have health issues and are under self-quarantine for more than a month.
“They can get necessary health checks done before allowing us to go home,” she said.
Meanwhile, traders from Kashmir who are stuck in Raikot and Jagraon areas said they are waiting to get permission from J&K to allow them to travel to their native places. Bashir Ahmed Malik, a shawl trader from Kupwara, who had come to Raikot during winters, said he along with 40 others, including three families, are stuck in Raikot for more than a month.
“Besides me, my 85-year-old father Muhammad Sabir Malik is with me. My aged mother, sister, wife, son and daughter are at my native place and are waiting for us. We had left for home on March 29 after SDM Raikot gave us curfew pass, but at Lakhanpur the authorities didn’t allow us to enter J&K. We have heard that the authorities there are still not allowing residents of J&K to enter,” said Malik.
Raveen Thukral, the media advisor to the chief minister, said the Punjab government has sent back several people to Jammu and Kashmir. He said as the UT administration has sealed the borders, they will have to take up the matter with the authorities about the students, reported The Times Of India