Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday, 18 October, condemned the killing of two migrant workers of the state who died in militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.
Kumar was quoted as saying, "It's a matter of serious concern that people who have gone for work are being deliberately targeted in J&K. Authorities concerned must remain alert to check such incidents there,” news agency PTI reported.
A day earlier, Kumar had announced an ex gratia compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of the two migrant workers.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav, in a series of tweets, criticised the government for failing to provide employment to state's citizens, forcing them to migrate.
"Double engine government's double whammy. 'Won't give job-employment in Bihar If you go out you will be killed.' Chief Minister Shri Nitish Kumar ji, after adjudging the worth of a Bihar's life at Rs 2 lakh, will go into a dormant state without showing any condolences," Yadav had said on Monday.
A day after two migrant workers were killed in Jammu and Kashmir, two more non-local labourers – Raja Reshi Dev and Joginder Reshi Dev – lost their lives on 17 October, after being fired at by militants. A total of 11 civilians have been killed in J&K this month.
After the attack, Kumar said that he has spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, while senior Bihar officials are in touch with their counterparts in the union territory over the attacks.
'Every Citizen Is Free To Go to Any Corner of the Country': Kumar
Kumar was quoted as saying, "Every citizen is free to go to any corner of the country for work. The latest incident in which two labourers from Bihar were killed in J&K is quite serious as militants barged into the accommodation of the victims and fired on them. Their bodies are being brought back to Bihar," PTI reported.
He added, "I hope that J&K authorities will now be alert and make adequate security arrangements to ensure that no one, especially migrant workers, is attacked there. They should obtain information about migrant workers and the place where they are residing."
Yadav had further said on Monday, "Bihar government gives 4 lakh compensation for death due to snakebite and thrush, but gives Rs 2 lakh to Bihari labourers who have fled for livelihood due to the failure of the government and are killed by terrorists. Amazing! 'Destruction with injustice' is the basic mantra of the Nitish-BJP government."
The militant attacks have drawn strong condemnation from political leaders and parties across the spectrum.
On Saturday, two non-native workers – a carpenter and a street vendor – were shot at by militants and gunned down.
While the carpenter was identified as Sageer Ahmad from Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, the street vendor was one Arvind Kumar Sah from Bihar.
Saturday’s attacks had come barely hours after IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, had assured that the "militants responsible for these (civilian) killings" had been identified. He had said that while two of them had been killed, they were close to "neutralising" the others.
The IGP Kashmir had also denied any security lapse on their part, adding that police cannot be expected to provide security to everyone.
(With inputs from PTI.)