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Himachal Kashmiri porters live in anxiety

first_imgShimla: There are visible signs of anxiety, if not worries, among 8000 Kashmiri porters on Narendra Modi government 2.0 decision to trifurcate Jammu & Kashmir and scrap Article 370, apart from removing Article 35A.”We don’t know how the situation turns. Right now, the worry is how to get connect to families and how their well-being as phones are not working in the valley and life has come to a complete halt,” says Mohammad Yusuf. Yusuf, who had been living in Shimla since 1975, says this this has happened for the first time. The phones have suddenly gone off and there is no other way to speak to the families in the crisis situation. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Manzoor Ahmad, who hails from Kashmir and working in Shimla as porter for past 18 years, too has similar complaint. “Abrogation of article is not unexpected thing. We have been hearing these speculations a long time ago in the valley. It’s not fair for me as being a poor wage earner to comment on such an important decision of the India’s government. Yet, the point is it should bring peace in the valley and create jobs. Why are we here away from homes, only to earn livings,” says Ahmad. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KShimla, as par official reports has 7000 to 8000 Kashmiri porters. Called as Khans in local parlance they are in fact Shimla’s lifeline. It’s difficult to manage trade, tourism and retail business without their help. They work at LGP agencies to carry cylinders for home deliveries. Help tourists to find hotels, carry their luggage on their backs, do loading and unloading job, and also work at ration/PDS depots. Every time there is trouble in Kashmir, the Kashmiri porters do feel scared though many admits that it’s militancy and lack of job avenues they have chosen Shimla to go the labour jobs. “This is very peaceful state. Shimla suits us climatically also. The place has lots of scope for earning, which helps us to feed the families back home. The developments in Kashmir or any violence sends us to tense moments,” admits Tariq, who is now into shawls business.last_img read more

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