Srinagar, October 18
Panic has gripped non-local workers in Kashmir after a series of attacks against them and many have now started fleeing the Valley.
A group of non-local workers on Monday gathered at the Srinagar railway station to go back to their native states.
Dinesh Mandal, 60, from Bihar’s Bhagalpur has decided to leave. He had been coming to Kashmir regularly for the past 40 years to sell ice creams.
“The situation is bad. Non-locals are being targeted. Vendors and labourers are being targeted. We cannot stay back in Kashmir in these conditions,” he said.
“Everybody is scared. Earlier vendors were targeted on the roads, but now people are being attacked in their rooms. We decided to leave after two non-local persons were killed in Kulgam on Saturday,” Satish Kumar, another ice cream seller, said.
“Local people tell us to stay back, but how can we stay back in Kashmir when there is a threat of getting killed even in our rooms. If this thorn is taken out and there is peace, we will think of returning to Kashmir,” said Kumar.
“There is a lot of fear among the non-local migrants. Our families back home are crying and asking us to return soon. We are very scared after we heard the news of the killing of migrant workers. After every few days people are getting killed here,” said a labourer, who did not wish to be named.
The migrant workers say their families back home are urging them to return. Some of those heading home said they will think of returning to the Valley only after the situation improves.
In the past few days, many civilians have been targeted in Kashmir. On Sunday, two non-local persons were killed and a third person was injured by terrorists in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district. IANS