Hundreds of Kashmiris, who are stuck in Delhi and other places across the country, are seeking help from authorities to return back to the Valley. They claim Jammu and Kashmir government is not coming forward with any information about their evacuation and they are running out of money.
“I came to Delhi after my son was referred to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) by Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS). Two veins in his heart were blocked. He is only two and half years old,” says Nisar Ahmad Magray of Pulwama district, South Kashmir.
He says his son was operated by the doctors at AIIMS and discharged on March 26, after undergoing his last check-up. "My child is doing fine now and we want to go back home. We don’t know what to do. Please help us,” Magray says.
Expressing concern regarding the health of his son, he says, “This is the time my son needs a lot of care and hygiene. I want to take him back home but don’t know what to do. I am not getting any information whether the government has any plans to allow movement of patients stuck in Delhi.”
There is a growing concern among the citizens of Kashmir regarding the people stuck in Delhi and other places due to the coronavirus lockdown. “My parents are in Delhi. They are aged and ailing as well. We want to bring them back but we don’t know what to do,” says a resident of Srinagar.
Political parties are also expressing concern over the suffering of stranded students, traders and pilgrims. They say that they are desperate to bring them home soon, especially due to the temperature rise across the country, but the government is not helping them. “Pilgrims from J&K, who were evacuated from Iran, alighted at an isolation bay in Mumbai, where they were checked by health staff and were handed over to naval authorities for quarantine. Height of the matter is that these evacuated pilgrims include old women. How can old women be made to stay at quarantine facilities even after their mandatory period is over,” asks Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, President, Jammu Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP).
“Ironically, it is the J&K authorities who have shown complete indifference towards them and have refused to facilitate their return to their homeland,” Bukhari said, adding that a number of J&K students who were brought back from Pakistan via Punjab have completed their quarantine period but are still stuck in Punjab. Despite the Punjab government offering them transport services, the J&K authorities are reportedly not allowing their entry into the state, Bukhari alleged.