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Stranded J&K students, workers in city wait for their return home

May 11, 2020 05:47 AM


Stranded J&K students, workers in city wait for their return home
LONG WAIT : Several migrants told HT that there was little clarity on evacuation from state government

Migrants wait to board buses bound for Uttarakhand at Tau Devi Lal Stadium. YOGENDRA KUMAR/HT PHOTO
HT Correspondent

Gurugram : As migrant workers and students from various states have started their journey back home from Gurugram, several students and professionals from Jammu and Kashmir stranded in the city said they have received little clarity from the district administration on evacuation measures.

Hindustan Times spoke to over a dozen students and professionals who expressed uncertainty over their chances of returning home.

Javed Husain, a student living in a Sector 20 building, along with 12 other people from Jammu and Kashmir, said, “We have little money left with us, and due to the internet shutdown back home we are unable to receive any money from our families. Despite registering on the Haryana government’s online portal, and despite calling and sending tweets to multiple officials, we have not received any clear instructions on when will we be sent back home.”

Internet services in the valley were recently shut down once again.

Mudasir Ahmad Bhat, who lives in Sector 44 and works with a private firm here, said, “It is no longer possible for us to stay in the city. Our landlords are not reducing the rent, and many of us have been laid off from our jobs. We tried calling the district nodal officer several times, but he has not received our call.”

Aman Yadav, nodal officer for migrants from Jammu and Kashmir in Gurugram, did not respond to multiple calls and messages seeking comment over the matter.

For the past few weeks, several Jammu and Kashmir residents have been communicating via a WhatsApp group called ‘Stranded Kashmiris’ to coordinate efforts to go home. Wasim Nasir, administrator of the group — which has over 250 members — said that many of the stranded people had booked flight tickets for May, but after the lockdown extended, all the flights were cancelled. “We have not received any refunds till now. We had also tried to book private buses ton our own to take us back, but the transporters are charging exorbitant prices.”

Arshad Yousuf, executive director of the Jammu and Kashmir chapter of International Human Rights Organisation (a non-profit body), said he had received lists of hundreds of students and professionals stranded across multiple districts in Haryana. He said that most of the Jammu and Kashmir residents were stranded in Gugugram.

On Saturday, with the help of local authorities, Yousuf said, he was able to arrange 12 buses to take back stranded residents from Chandigarh to Jammu and Kashmir. On Sunday, another bus arranged by the district administration in Hisar took a dozen students home.

“We are in talks with officials in Rohtak, Sonipat, Ambala, and Gurugram, and we will try and start evacuating residents from Jammu and Kashmir this week. Any student or worker who requires help to go back home can contact me at 08968153346,” Yousuf added.

Narender Sarwan, district development panchayat officer, who is the nodal authority for registering migrants’ details for repatriation, said, “We are aware of the matter, and are expediting the process. Anyone from Jammu and Kashmir who is stranded in Gurugram need not panic. We will make arrangements to send them back very soon

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