Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Pandurang Kondbarao Pole, on Tuesday said that while the process of evacuating Kashmiris from abroad started with Bangladesh, persons stranded in other countries will also be brought back soon.
Speaking with Greater Kashmir, the Div Com saidMinistry of External Affairs was regularly coordinating with the governments ofvarious countries for evacuation of stranded Kashmiris. "The evacuation ofstudents from Bangladesh is taking place. In addition, the MEA has graduallystarted the process for evacuation from other countries also," Pole said.
The Div Com said people wishing to be evacuated shouldregister themselves with the respective embassies and consulates. "It is beingensured that the travellers being brought back have tested negative forCovid-19. All standard operating procedures for their travel are followedproperly," Pole said.
The Div Com urged the stranded persons "not to panic andwait for their turn to be brought back home".
"Evacuation process does take some time. So people need towait patiently after registering," Pole said, adding that the persons who haveregistered themselves with the embassies or consulates in their respectivecountries will be soon receiving further communication about their travelitineraries.
"Right now we are not in a position to say which of thecountries will be next for the evacuation after Bangladesh. It is clear thatsooner or later, people stranded in rest of the countries will also be broughtback," the Div Com said.
Meanwhile, demand of people stranded abroad for evacuationhas been growing every passing day. Several persons stranded in Dubai told thisnewspaper about the hardships they have been facing due to the lockdown owingto Covid-19. "I am in Dubai on a visit and stranded here but no one islistening to us. I have written to all important authorities in Dubai and inIndia but to no avail," said Aamir Rafiq.
Rafiq said almost 600 stranded persons have registered withthe Consulate General of India in Dubai and are keen to return to the Valleysoon. "There are people who lost their jobs, some of them are on unpaid leavesand even traders and visitors want to get back home. We urge the authorities toarrange a direct flight between Dubai and Srinagar for all of us," Rafiq said.
Another stranded person told Greater Kashmir that hisemployers in Dubai have "sent him on an unpaid leave" which has createdfinancial stress for him. "I have no source of income right now. Me and my wifeare desperately in need to go back home. I cannot afford to pay the apartmentrent and other charges while sitting idle here," said the stranded person.
Several other stranded persons in Dubai and other emiratesof the UAE have also demanded their immediate evacuation. "I am an expectingmother and came here on a visit visa of 3 months which has already expired onMay 6. I don't have any medical insurance and my husband cannot afford medicalfacilities for me over here," wrote another stranded person in a text messageto this newspaper.
She further wrote: "My husband is jobless since the lockdownand has not received his salary since April. We are running out of money andneed to be home soon," she said.