Arunachal Pradesh: Kashmiri migrants face hardship stuck in Arunachal

May 28, 2020: Over 300 Kashmiri migrants, traders and labourers stranded all over Arunachal Pradesh are facing hardship due to the enforcement of COVID-19 lockdown, appeal to the government of Jammu and Kashmir to make arrangements for them to return to their state.

Unable to get any benefits from the J&K government the labourers have decided to fall back on the Arunachal government for help and support.

Most of them hailing from the Kupwara and Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir complain that they are living in tents which does not have any electricity supply in this hot summer season in Holongi, which is a border town between Arunachal and Assam.

They have complained that they are not being paid their salaries which was agreed upon through an agreement by a Kashmiri contractor tied up with Starlite company, a subsidiary of Tata. As a result, they are running out of money.

They have also claimed that they are struggling to arrange food.

However, Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu, while addressing a press conference a few days back had a different say on the issue altogether.

He said, “We haven’t yet received any request from Kashmiris stranded here in Arunachal. But we are still providing for those Kashmiris stranded here in the state. If J&K government coordinates with us then we will arrange transportation facilities for them.”

These Kashmiri citizens had booked their return tickets and their train was scheduled in the last week of March. But, they couldn’t return as the lockdown was announced.

“We have tried with the best of our efforts to get in touch with our local leaders in J&K through mobile and also tried to contact the DC concerned there at Ramban but it has proved to be worthless and useless. Now we are left with no other option but to approach the Arunachal government to contact the J&K government for our returning to back home.” Said one of the labourers.

Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar talking to media on May 19th told that “I was unaware of their existence. Arunachal Government will coordinate with our counterparts in the J&K government to arrange their travelling back home. If we get a formal request, we can intervene and get them back the money pending. “