138 Bengal, Assam workers in Kashmir return to Kolkata

Workers arrive at the station from Jammu and Kashmir, in Kolkata. (PTI Photo)

Days after terrorists shot dead five workers from West Bengal’s Murshidabad district in Kashmir, 133 Bengali workers returned to their home state on Monday.

Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim received them, along with 5 workers from Assam who too took the Jammu Tawi Express to reach Bengal, at the Kolkata Railway Station on Monday. 

The development comes after workers from Bengal who are employed in Kashmir wanted to return to their home state in the wake of the terrorist attack on October 29 in Kashmir.

Out of the 133 workers from Bengal, a majority are from South Dinajpur district. Rest are from Malda, North 24 Paraganas and Birbhum districts.

As they got down from the train one by one, the workers were at once relieved to return home but also anxious about how they will earn their livelihood in future.

“In Kashmir, we get a higher wage which makes it a bit easier for us to sustain our families. Now that we can’t go back there how will we earn our living,” said Samirul Rehman, one of the workers said.

Speaking to reporters at the station, the urban development minister lashed out at a section of BJP leaders who claimed that the workers who died in the terror attack went to Kashmir as there was no employment in Bengal.

The allegation was recently made by BJP state president Dilip Ghosh.

“They are trying to cover up their own failure. Kashmir is now a Union Territory. Then why is it unsafe now? Why should Amit Shah not resign? Why is silent now?,” said Hakim.

While the workers from Bengal will be sent to their respective districts by buses arranged by the state government, those from Assam will first be sent to Cooch Behar district from where they will be sent to their home state.

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