Days after Militants Kill Bengal Labourers in Kashmir, Mamata Says Remaining Workers Being Brought Back
The state government has sent two senior police officers to personally make arrangements for the safe return of the workers, most of whom are from Birbhum, North and South Dinajpur, Malda and Murshidabad.
File photo of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said over 130 workers were still there in Kashmir and efforts were on to bring them back to the state.
Banerjee told reporters during a ‘Bijoya Samillini’ event at Eco Park in New Town, “We have identified a total of 131 individuals from Bengal who are working at various places in Kashmir. They were taken to Jammu on Friday night and from there they will board the train. Tickets are being booked for the same.”
The state government has sent two senior police officers to personally make arrangements for the safe return of the workers many of whom are from Birbhum, North and South Dinajpur, Malda and Murshidabad. Though most of the workers have expressed their willingness to return home fearing more attacks, some of them wanted to stay back.
On Thursday, the bodies of five daily wage labourers who were gunned down by terrorists in the Valley on October 29 were brought to Kolkata and then taken to their village, Bahal Nagar, in Murshidabad’s Sagardighi area.
The labourers, all of whom were working in apple orchards, were identified as Sheikh Rafiq, Naimuddin Alam, Qamaruddin Sheikh, Mursalim Sheikh and Rafiqul Alam.
One of their friends, Jahiruddin (Noorul) Shiekh, was critically injured while trying to escape the attack. He is being treated at a hospital in Srinagar and his condition is stated to be stable.
The workers were taken to a hilly area and gunned down by four heavily armed terrorists in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on October 29.
The killings sparked tension in the area as family members of the deceased and locals protested against the Central government for not providing adequate safety to non-native labourers in the Valley, even as the chief minister demanded a “strong investigation” into the “pre-planned” attack.
The incident happened at a time when a delegate of parliamentarians belonging to the European Union was paying a visit to the state to get a sense of the ground situation of the Valley that is said to be slowly returning to normalcy following the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
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