Migrant labourers continue to leave Kashmir Valley

Migrant labourers continue to leave Kashmir Valley

PTI File photo for representation

Desperate to make their way home, hundreds of migrant labourers continue to arrive at Jammu and Udhampur railway stations from Kashmir region, with many complaining they were not paid fully by their employers and overcharged by private transporters.

Officials said over 50,000 labourers have been ferried by the railways to their respective states in the last five days. Yet, the railway stations are chock-a-block with people waiting for special trains out of the state.

Prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144, imposed on August 5, were lifted in Jammu and curfew was relaxed in Doda and Kishtwar districts on Friday, paving the way for the resumption of normal activities that were badly hit after the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was abrogated.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration had on August 3 asked Amarnath Yatris to cut short their pilgrimage and tourists to return, citing emergency situation.

Waiting for a special train to Bihar's Darbhanga, Ramesh Kumar, who arrived here on Friday from Ganderbal area of Kashmir with a group of 40 people, claimed that they had not eaten for two days and had little money to leave the Valley as the owner of an ice-cream production unit, where they worked, failed to pay their dues in view of the prevailing situation.

"We managed to get some paltry amount and left the Valley. Private transport operators charged Rs 2,000 per persons in a Tata Sumo. They are fleecing people," he said.

Another person, from Kolkata, who has been working as a goldsmith in Srinagar city for a decade, said he had to pay Rs 2,500 per person to ferry his family of six to Jammu from Kashmir.

Another labourer, Zafarullah, who hails from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, said his employer paid him just one-week wage, despite having worked for one month.

"This has happened for the first time. I was compelled to borrow money and left as soon as I could," he said.

Chief PRO of Norther Railway Deepak Kumar told PTI, "The railways pressed into services special trains and additional coaches to ferry them to their respective state. Also, additional coaches have been attached to all trains."

"All arrangements for shelter, food and water has been made," he said. 

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