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SRINAGAR, Apr 12: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) senior leader Mohammad Dilawar Mir on Sunday demanded immediate shifting of J&K residents who are stranded in different parts of India since the COVID-19 lockdown was enforced in the country.
In a statement issued here, Mir said: “It is heartening that JKAP’s continuous efforts and follow-up have borne some fruit and some of the students and pilgrims who were evacuated from Iran and had got stuck in a quarantine facility in Mumbai despite completing their mandatory stay, have been shifted to J&K today.”
He said that need of the hour is that all other residents of J&K including pilgrims, students, scholars, labourers and traders who are wedged in different states and cities including Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal, Bangalore, Noida, Uttaranchal, Kerala, Jaisalmer, Amritsar, Calcutta and Chennai need to be brought back to their home state in view of difficulties faced by them.
“Most of the stranded residents of J&K especially the students and labourers are running short of money and it is almost impossible for them to continue their stay outside their homes. The government of India and in particular the J&K Resident Commissioner’s office in New Delhi with the help of all its nodal officers should take up this issue with all state governments and pursue for immediate return of the stranded people to their homes. Till then the government of India should provide free accommodation and ration to these hapless J&K residents,” the JKAP leader demanded.
Mir also appreciated the extension in lockdown period saying that any laxity in tackling with the spread of Coronavirus would prove fatal for the whole country. “While the extension in lockdown was necessary to save the whole country from the disastrous consequences of COVID-19, it is also imperative that all stranded residents of J&K be shifted to their homes through charted planes and government busses even if, in some cases, it entails their own expenses,” Mir remarked saying that many of the well-off stranded residents of J&K have agreed to pay for their return expenditures.
The JKAP leader said that as per official and unofficial figures, over 10,000 residents of J&K including students, labourers, handicraft traders are stranded in different States across India. “The government of India especially the union home ministry should understand the plight of these stranded people of J&K who in most of the cases have completed the quarantine period and are behind schedule for their return to their homes. Amid this unpredictable and continuing lockdown, the government of India should arrange the return of J&K residents including women, children and patients who are craving for help,” Mir observed.
The JKAP leader demanded special domestic flights and government fleet of busses to facilitate the return of these stranded J&K residents without any further delay.