Amid fear and uncertainty, nomad Bakerwals cut short Kashmir migration

Amid fear and uncertainty, nomad Bakerwals cut short Kashmir migration
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As government has asked Yatris and tourists to pack their bags and leave Kashmir amid massive troop deployment, the nomadic Bakerwal families camping in Srinagar outskirts are planning to cut short their annual migration and move to Jammu ahead of scheduled time.

Fear and uncertainty gripped Kashmir after government askedAmarnath Yatris and tourists to cut short their stay and leave valley as soonas possible.

Soon after the advisory, the tourists and yatris were seenleaving Kashmir and this created fear psychosis among the Bakerwal families whomigrate to Kashmir in summers every year in hordes.

"A week ago we had heard from people here in Srinagar thatsomething might happen after Eid, so we were already scared and thinking whatto do if the law and order situation worsened in Kashmir," said Khatoon – aBakerwal woman who comes to Kashmir every year to escape from the harsh summerof the Jammu region.

"Yesterday I heard someone saying that situation hasdeteriorated, I rushed home and told my family about it and since then we arescared and want to leave Kashmir," she said.

The unprecedented order by the government to curtail theAmarnath Yatra abruptly made people frenzy. The people started queuing up atpetrol pumps, grocery shops, and ATMs to stock up on supplies speculatingsomething adverse is afoot.

On Saturday also many non-local students studying in aEngineering College here in Srinagar left valley after administration askedthem to leave.

Talib Poswal, a nomad who works as a mason in Srinagar,said, "I have two sons and after I heard that situation is bad, I packed theirbags and sent them to Rajouri at my brother's place. I am also planning toleave the city and go back to Jammu."

Adding further, he said, "We heard that the situation isalso not good in the Pir Panchal and Chenab Valley, but there we have anadvantage that we have relatives there. If something happens we can take refugein some relative's house; but here we are alone, and this is the reason that weare scared."

The situation in Kashmir has remained tense for the past fewdays after the centre ordered deployment of 100 companies of additional forcesin the valley.

The deployment of the forces and various other orders leakedlast week created alarm in the valley where people were apprehending some majordecision in the offing regarding Jammu and Kashmir's special status.

"We usually leave by November when winter arrives inKashmir, but if the situation remains tense we will be forced to leave early,"said a group of Bakerwal women who were busy packing their belongings.

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