Migrant workers in Kashmir looking for ways to return home

migrant workers, J&K Police
The advisory has been issued due to militant threat on non-locals in the Valley | Representative purpose only. Photo: iStock.

Worried over the prevailing security situation in Kashmir, migrant workers and daily wage labourers in the Valley have started looking for ways to return home.

The labourers, who mostly hail from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and other heartland states, are now desperately looking for ways to go out of the Valley, saying although nothing unpleasant has happened to them, they are worried about what the future holds for them.

Thousands of them, who come to the Valley to earn livelihood, are stranded in Srinagar as there have been little or no availability of inter-state bus services.

The curfew-like situation has affected their livelihood as there have been a total closure of construction works in parts of the state amid restrictions and heavy security deployment.

“We are going home due to the prevailing situation. In the absence of any help from the government, we are stuck here. We are forced to take this step due to the situation. Some of them are frightened as well,” one of the migrant workers told a news channel.

“There has been no work in some areas due to which we are looking to return. I was employed in painting,” Rehaan, a labourer from Bihar said.

Surjeet, a carpenter from Punjab who has been working in Kashmir for 12 years, claimed that although work has not been fully stopped, he is looking to return home because of the curfew-like situation.

Since there has been no availability of buses, they are waiting for the government to intervene. Every year, about four lakh labourers — skilled and unskilled — reportedly come to the Valley to earn their livelihood.

Kashmir is in a complete state of shutdown with phone and internet connectivity snapped as the government scrapped the Article 370 that gave special privileges to the state and proposed its bifurcation into the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.