Over 35,000 laborers from Jammu and Kashmir are stranded in various parts of India due to lockdown to contain COVID-19.
As per the official details available with news agency KINS, 35829 laborers from Jammu and Kashmir are stranded in various parts of India.
Among them 23912 have approached the helpline of J&K’s Labour Department. These including 12242 laborers stranded in Himachal Pradesh, 1009 in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab 878, Maharashtra 5197, Madhya Pradesh 1040, and Goa 1696. Others are stranded in other parts including in Delhi, Uttrakhand, Assam, Telangana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, West Bengal and Jharkhand.
An official said that they have asked the government to evacuate them from there. “There are lakhs of laborers who are stranded across India. It won’t be possible to bring them back home till the lockdown is over,” the official said. Government has announced the lockdown till May 3.
While as six laborers from the Chenab Valley were injured on last Sunday evening when a group of people attacked them with iron rods and sticks at Pundo-Barote in Himachal Pradesh. The incident has created a fear among Kashmiris who are stranded in various parts. “This incident has created fear among all Kashmiris. Kashmiris fear we might be attacked in various states,” a laborer in Himachal Pradesh said.
Similarly, Sameer Ahmad, who is stranded in Punjab said, the government should ensure the safety of Kashmiri students, laborers and businessmen. “When the whole world is fighting against COVID-19, laborers of Jammu and Kashmir are being attacked,” he said.
Hundreds of Kashmiris are also stuck in Goa since the government announced lockdown to combat the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, with an aim to address the issues faced by the residents of Jammu and Kashmir living in different parts of the country, a 24X7 Helpline Center was established at J&K Resident Commission Office, New Delhi following the lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic.
The helpline center is working 24X7 by listening and noting down the queries, calls, grievances and suggestions concerning labourers, business persons, students, their parents as well as close relatives and even patients.
Meanwhile, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah has said something needs to be done for the people from Jammu and Kashmir stranded in other states due to the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister has said he and his father Farooq Abdullah have been flooded by calls and messages from Kashmiris stuck in various parts of the country, especially in north India.
“Now that the (Narendra) Modi government is planning an extension to this lockdown something will have to be done for people stuck in other states. A lot of them don’t have much money. There is no work available for them,” Omar has said. (KINS)