As migrants depart Valley, officers say safety up, scenario getting higher

THE administration has stepped up police presence and safety in areas inhabited by migrant labourers in Kashmir, although their sheer measurement and unfold within the unorganised sector and lack of certainty on the community focusing on them are making their job troublesome.

Several folks mentioned each day wage labourers are being inspired to depart. On Sunday, a apprehensive administration had corralled them into authorities faculties and faculties in susceptible districts. By Tuesday all of them had both left the Valley or joined work in safe areas.

“Police have been asking labourers to leave for the past few days, but many were not leaving as their payments were stuck. On Sunday night over a hundred labourers were brought here and housed in the government school. They all left by Monday evening,” a shop-owner in Baramulla’s Choora tehsil mentioned. His store is reverse the federal government faculty the place labourers had been sheltered on Sunday.

Read | After assaults, J&Okay to migrant employees: get to work or face motion

The Sopore Superintendent of Police, Sudhanshu Verma, nevertheless, denied anybody was being requested to depart. “We tried to provide in situ security. We increased patrolling in areas where labourers were working, and increased police presence. We gave them our numbers so that they can call us in case of an emergency,” he mentioned.

Mohammed Salman, a barber from Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh, runs a saloon within the Choora market. “Police were rounding up only casual labourers. We have been here for over a decade and live here with our families. We don’t plan to leave. But yes police have asked us to shut shop by 5.30 pm because of the killings,” mentioned Salman.

His brother Abad, who arrived in Kashmir this yr, mentioned this new deadline was unhealthy for enterprise. “During the day people are busy with work. They either come to the saloon in the morning or in the evening,” he mentioned.

Kashmiri Pandit households return to a migrant camp in Jammu on Saturday. (Photo: PTI)

In Sopore city, locals mentioned, they noticed a whole lot of labourers being delivered to the Government Degree College carrying their belongings on their heads until late into Sunday evening.

“In the morning when I saw so many people there — there must have been at least a thousand — I carried a few cartons of biscuits to them. They tore open the cartons as if they hadn’t eaten for days. They kept asking when they would get food. They were in a really pitiable condition. Later locals provided some food to them,” Junaid, who runs a grocery retailer reverse the school, mentioned.

Also Read | Vendor from Bihar, carpenter from UP gunned down

Another shop-owner, who runs a photocopier store available in the market reverse the school, mentioned the administration had obtained Aadhaar playing cards of the labourers photocopied after which allowed them to depart.

“The labourers had been brought there only for the night as there was some risk. It was not meant to be a permanent accommodation. Not all of them left for home. A lot of them went back to where they work. Only those who had already booked tickets left for home. On Sunday, because of a spate of incidents back to back, the security situation was a bit more sensitive,” SP Verma mentioned.

An official within the district administration admitted the scenario grew to become a bit chaotic due to the quickly unfolding scenario. “The entire thing was managed by police on Sunday night. But you must understand that even in a wedding, which is pre-planned, if 500 guests arrive, there is chaos. Add to that the problem of the administration not having data on how many labourers are working where. We only have detailed data on labourers in the organised sector, which is much smaller,” he mentioned.

Javed Bhatt, President of the Sopore Industrial Estate, mentioned locals have been attempting to supply no matter assist potential to the labourers. “Those kept in the government college must have suffered through the night. Imagine, I sleep under two blankets, they must have slept on a cold floor. But it is only casual labour who are leaving. It is also the onset of winter, so many leave at this time anyway. Not a single labourer engaged in the industrial estate here has left. Those working in homes as domestic help or in shops are also staying back,” he mentioned.