Non-locals flee Kashmir

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 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.

Less than an hour after media picked up an emergency advisory on Sunday seeking non-locals be taken to the nearest security forces camps in the Kashmir Valley, in wake of killing of two more labourers from Bihar, authorities said they did not issue any such advisory.

Although there were reports of non-locals being asked to come to the police stations, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir region, Vijay Kumar, said: “No such order has been issued, it is fake.”

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