Majid Kapra

Locals demand proper testing of non-local laborers

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Received reports about arrival of nonlocal laborers in Pulwama and a team has been sent to ascertain facts: Dir Health

Srinagar: Despite frequent protests and formal complaints lodged by the people against ‘influx’ of nonlocal laborers, rag pickers and street beggars in Kashmir allegedly sans screening, Union Territory administration is yet to take any call whether their entry is restricted or allowed after proper screening.

Since the first case of deadly epidemic was detected in Srinagar two days ago forcing administration to impose lockdown across Kashmir, reports about arrival of nonlocal laborers, street beggars and rag pickers continues to pour in from different parts of the valley including summer capital.

People alleged that non locals from outside states who work as laborers, mason, carpenters, barbers and painters continue to arrive in Kashmir without going through mandatory screening.

They said their arrival may pose serious threat to the lives of local populace who at present lives under constant threat following outbreak of deadly epidemic.

Large number of people hit streets in south Kashmir’s Pulwama recently urging administration to conduct medical tests of nonlocal laborers who they alleged arrived in Kashmir by way of trespassing.

A village head was put behind the bars at Chandilora Tangrmag in north Kashmir after the latter went to concerned police station with plea to seek necessary medical tests of nonlocal laborers arrived in the village recently.

When contacted Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Sameer Mattoo said they have so far received the reports of arrival of nonlocal laborers from Pulwama only and a team has been sent there to ascertain facts.

He said that he will also look into the issue of Chandilora Tangmarg and also send a team of medicos there if need arises.

“We sent a team to Pulwama as soon as the reports about the arrival of nonlocal laborers were received. Except for Pulwama we have not received any such report from any part of the valley. So far as Chandilora Tangmarg is concerned, I will see what had happened there and also send a team if need arises,” Director Health told ‘Kashmir Images’.

It is pertinent to mention here that some respectable citizens from Chandilora village of Tangmarg in district Baramulla had on Thursday approached Police station Tangmarg with a request that it may be ensured that all local laborers reaching there are properly tested for COVID-19.

Instead of listening to their genuine apprehension, the police detained the village head. He, however, was later set free.

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