Srinagar, May 11: Jammu Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Monday urged the government of India to operate direct flights from UAE and Saudi Arabia to Srinagar in order to shift the stranded residents of J&K to their homes.
In a statement issued to Kashmir News Service (KNS), Bukhari said there are around a 1000 residents of J&K who are stuck up in Dubai and similarly around 700 people from J&K are unable to return their homes from Saudi Arabia because of the COVID-19 lockdown.
“These stranded people including businessmen, employees and labourers have already submitted their travel details to Indian embassy in both the countries and are waiting for help. I solicit personal intervention of the Hon’ble Home Minister to order operationalization of direct flights from Dubai and Saudi Arabia to Srinagar so that these helpless citizens are able to return to their homes without any further delay,” Bukhari demanded.
Similarly, he said that hundreds of J&K residents mostly students are stuck up in Germany, Netherland, France, Spain, Ukraine, Thailand, Turkey and central Asian countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Moscow and are waiting for evacuation by their respective Indian embassies.
“While it is highly appreciable that special flights were operated to evacuate J&K students from Daka-Bangladesh, the same facility be extended to other J&K residents who are stuck up in other countries as soon as possible,” Bukhari demanded.
The JKAP president also demanded that all J&K residents who are evacuated from different countries be kept under quarantine in their home State and not delay their return by subjecting them to this mandatory process in New Delhi.
“Also there are some J&K residents especially patients who are stuck up in Mumbai and other parts of the country who are ready to bear the airfare to return their homes. Such stranded people be facilitated with special flights for their early evacuation,” he demanded.
The JKAP president urged the Lieutenant Governor G.C Murmu to order evacuation of labourers, tourists and traders of different states of the country who are stranded in various parts of J&K. “The pace of evacuation of these migrant labourers who are stuck up in both divisions of J&K be expedited by pressing into service more special trains to ferry them to their homes.”
Similarly, he demanded immediate shifting of inhabitants of Gurez who are stuck up in various parts of Kashmir division particularly in Bandipora, Kangan and Srinagar. “Thousands of residents of Gurez who routinely migrate along with their families from their homes to Srinagar in search of livelihood and education in the month of October-November are stranded here because of COVID lockdown. These stuck up families need to be shifted to their homes on priority basis,” the JKAP president pleaded.
He said most of the students, labourers, patients, attendants and vendors from Gurez are running short of money in Srinagar and despite repeated submissions they have not been extended any help from the concerned authorities.
“Predominantly these families belong to farming community and have a limited crop season in Gurez. Usually these families would return to their homes in the first week of April to start their farming activities and also arrange feed for their livestock. Any further delay in their return can prove detrimental to their livelihood and that irreversible loss can get incremented by delay in their return,” Bukhari observed, and demanded special busses to ferry these stuck up families to Gurez.
Similarly, Bukhari demanded evacuation of residents of J&K who are stranded in Leh. “These stranded people have reportedly written to the authorities’ concerned long back for their evacuation but unfortunately have received no response so far. These hapless stranded people have no option but to go for unapproved travel or agitate because of immense difficulties faced by them. I appeal the LG led administration to arrange their safe return as soon as possible,” he pleaded.