October 2017 News

Non-local Labourers Flee South Kashmir

23 October 2017
Kashmir Observer

Srinagar: Day after a non-local labourer was shot dead in Kulgam, fear has gripped the non-local labourers who have started packing their bags from South Kashmir interiors. In Wachi, hundreds of non-locals have already left the villages after posters appeared asking non-locals to leave the valley. 'Most of my other fellows have left. I am just collecting money from the people we have worked with. In next three days I will also leave,' said Sabir Ahmed, a non-local. Ahmed has been working in various villages of Wachi constituency from last nine years and is a known mason in the area. 'The situation has forced me to go back home. I don't want to lose my life. I will work somewhere else either I will go to Mumbai or Delhi,' he said. Exodus of non-locals has meanwhile hit the ongoing construction works, harvesting in apple orchards and other modes of farming. 'We were undergoing construction work. All labourers and masons have left. Even the electric fitters were non-locals. We have stopped work. The labourers left a day before. They told some threat posters have appeared in which they have been given ultimatum to leave the valley,' said Ghulam Rasool, a local. IGP Kashmir Muneer Ahmed Khan dismissed the reports of mass exodus saying non locals go to their homes ahead of Diwali and this is a routine practice. Asked if there is fear among the non-locals after threat posters surfaced by some 'Mujahideen Kashmir' outfit, the IGP said there is no such outfit in Kashmir. 'The outfit had given the deadline till October 25. There are still two days left. We are investigating it,' he said. Inspector General of Police Muneer Ahmad Khan Monday said police was investigating the killing of a non-local killed in Arwani village in south Kashmir on Sunday. He said the non-local labourer was almost a local now as he was settled in Kashmir from the last 10 years and has relatives in Kupwara and Zainapora. 'He is a local. He was here for 10 years. He has relatives at various places in Kashmir,' Khan said. The IGP said they are investigating the real motive behind the killing. 'It is not necessary it can be a killing related to politics. There can be some other motive behind his killing. We are investigating it. It will be too premature to relate with the prevailing politics,' he said.