Hundreds of Poor Migrant Workers Flee Kashmir Under Lockdown
Indian migrant workers wait outside the government transport yard, waiting to buy bus tickets to leave the region, during curfew in Srinagar.
Indian migrant workers wait outside the government transport yard, waiting to buy bus tickets to leave the region, during curfew in Srinagar.(Photo: AP) 

Hundreds of Poor Migrant Workers Flee Kashmir Under Lockdown

Indian migrant labourers speak on their mobile phones as they prepare to leave the region, at a railway station in Jammu.
Indian migrant labourers speak on their mobile phones as they prepare to leave the region, at a railway station in Jammu.
(Photo: AP) 

Hit by a complete security lockdown in Kashmir, hundreds of poor migrant workers have begun fleeing the Himalayan region to return to their far-away villages in northern and eastern India.

Some complained on Wednesday that their Kashmiri employers didn't pay them any salary as security forces began imposing tight travel restrictions over the weekend and asked them to leave their jobs.

Authorities in Hindu-majority India clamped a complete shutdown on Kashmir as they scrapped the Muslim-majority state’s special status, including exclusive hereditary rights and a separate constitution, and divided it into two territories.
Indian migrant labourers carry their luggage and prepare to leave the region, at a railway station in Jammu.
Indian migrant labourers carry their luggage and prepare to leave the region, at a railway station in Jammu.
(Photo: AP) 
Migrant labourers carry their luggage and prepare to leave the region, at a railway station in Jammu.
Migrant labourers carry their luggage and prepare to leave the region, at a railway station in Jammu.
(Photo: AP) 
Indian lawmakers passed a Bill on Tuesday that strips statehood from the Indian-administered portion of Muslim-majority Kashmir, which remains under an indefinite security lockdown.
Indian lawmakers passed a Bill on Tuesday that strips statehood from the Indian-administered portion of Muslim-majority Kashmir, which remains under an indefinite security lockdown.
(Photo: AP) 
La borers sit inside a train as they prepare to leave the region, at a railway station in Jammu.
La borers sit inside a train as they prepare to leave the region, at a railway station in Jammu.
(Photo: AP) 

Also Read : In Photos: Kashmir’s Silence Over Article 370 Speaks Volumes 

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On Wednesday, workers crowded the railroad station at Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir state, as they waited for trains bound for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. They carried their belongings on their heads and under their arms, tied in bed sheets.

Worker Jagdish Mathur said many people walked for miles on a highway and hitched rides on army trucks and buses from Srinagar to Jammu, a distance of 260 kilometers

“We haven’t eaten properly for the past four days,” said Mathur, adding that he doesn’t have money to buy a rail ticket to take him to his village in eastern Bihar state. “The government should help me.”
Indian migrant labourers carry their luggage and prepare to leave the region.
Indian migrant labourers carry their luggage and prepare to leave the region.
(Photo: AP) 
Indian migrant labourers carry their luggage and prepare to leave the region, at a railway station in Jammu.
Indian migrant labourers carry their luggage and prepare to leave the region, at a railway station in Jammu.
(Photo: AP) 
A pedestrian walks past a barbwire barricade set up by security officers.
A pedestrian walks past a barbwire barricade set up by security officers.
(Photo: AP) 
Security officers stand guard near a barricade in Jammu.
Security officers stand guard near a barricade in Jammu.
(Photo: AP) 

Also Read : In Photos: Article 370 Modified, Some Outraged and Some Rejoice

Surjit Singh, a carpenter, told the New Delhi television channel that he was returning home because of Kashmir's security lockdown.

Every year, tens of thousands of people travel to Kashmir from various Indian states looking for work, mainly masonry, carpentry and agriculture. Whenever the security situation deteriorates, they return to their homes.
Indian migrant workers wait outside the government transport yard waiting to buy bus tickets to leave the region.
Indian migrant workers wait outside the government transport yard waiting to buy bus tickets to leave the region.
(Photo: AP) 
Indian migrant workers wait outside the government transport yard waiting to buy bus tickets to leave the region, during curfew in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir.
Indian migrant workers wait outside the government transport yard waiting to buy bus tickets to leave the region, during curfew in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir.
(Photo: AP) 

Insurgent groups have been fighting for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan since 1989. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Pakistan denies.

Also Read : Article 370: How Modi-Shah’s Kashmir Move Divided Congress

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