Since Monday afternoon, fear-stricken Ajeet Sahu along with his two minor children and wife is sitting outside Jammu railway station waiting for the train to proceed to his native place at Chhattisgarh as soon as possible.
After getting information about the gruesome killings of two migrant workers of Bihar on Sunday evening, Sahu hired a vehicle and rushed towards Jammu for safety.
The repeated targeted killings of migrant workers have created a fear psychosis among thousands of labourers, belong to different parts of the country, working in various sectors across Kashmir Valley.
Ajeet Sahu along with scores of other residents of Chhattisgarh were working in brick kilns in South Kashmir for a long. "First time during the last five years we were feeling unsafe in Kashmir", Sahu told media persons and added that the owner of the brick-kiln has assured to provide security but migrants workers have lost all faith and hope.
Influx of migrant workers in Jammu railway station, bus stand
Jammu railway station and bus stand witnessing the influx of migrant workers since Monday morning. The fear-stricken workers along with their families reached either at the railway station or bus stand to go back to their homes.
Jammu railway station is flooded with migrant workers as people are seen sitting inside and outside the station to manage tickets for further destinations.
A large number of workers are seen sitting in open along with their children. Many others are impatiently waiting on the footpath of Jammu railway station for their trains.
A female migrant worker from Chhattisgarh, Leena, who was working in a brick kiln with her family members, regretted that nation has virtually 'abandoned them. "No one is owning us", she regretted with tears in her eyes, adding, "We have no option but to return to our native place".
"Situation is not conducive to live in Kashmir Valley because terrorists are killing innocent poor migrant workers after repeated intervals", she said.
A migrant worker Suresh Kumar said that he along with his wife and two children had come to Kashmir to earn a livelihood. "For the last, some days situation is going from bad to worse. It seems that there is no law and order left in Kashmir so we have decided to move out immediately", he said.
Every year four to five lakh migrant workers reach Kashmir Valley
Four to five lakh migrant workers usually work in different sectors in Kashmir Valley. Due to the shortage of skilled and unskilled labourers in J&K, construction agencies usually hired workers from outside the UT for developmental works.
Furthermore, thousands of people from UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh arrive in Kashmir Valley to earn their livelihood by doing petty jobs. In Kashmir Valley majority of the carpenters, masons, painters, and street vendors are migrant workers.
During the apple season, the number of migrant workers increases manifold as local apple growers engaged workers from outside J&K for the package and other jobs. As apple season is at its peak, currently, a large number of migrant workers are working in the Valley.
Work of the brick-kilns in Kashmir Valley completely depends on these migrant workers. Every year additional one lakh workers arrive in the valley to work in brick-kilns.
Congress asks J&K Govt to stop exodus of migrant workers
As a large number of migrant workers were gathered outside the Jammu railway station, Congress leader Raman Bhalla reached the railway station to express solidarity with them. During his interaction, Bhalla urged that the administration must ramp up their investigations and put in staunch efforts to catch the culprits who are trying to create an atmosphere of terror in the Valley.
Congress strongly condemned the shameful and inhuman attacks as these brutal forces have no respect for the sanctity of life. He asked the J&K government to take some effective to restore the shattered confidence of migrant workers living in Kashmir Valley.
He appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to end political uncertainty and insecurity prevailing in the minds of the people of J&K.