Non-locals’ stalls at Dargah do good business

‘We have full faith in Kashmiris’
Non-locals’ stalls at Dargah do good business
Non- local vendor selling traditional snacks inside the premises of Haratbal Dargah. Haseeb Ibn Hameed for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: Even as the recent civilian killings has made the non-local labourers in Kashmir a worried lot, on the occasion of Eid-e-Milad today many non-natives had set up makeshift stalls at Dargah shrine here, where Kashmiri Muslims could be seen buying lots of goods and appreciating them for not leaving Kashmir.

“I am setting a stall here every year on this occasion for last thirty years. I have never been harmed by anybody. In fact I do good business on this occasion,” said Nasir Ahmad, a non-local selling fried snacks outside the Hazratbal shrine.

“I have very good friends in Kashmir who have now become like my family. During all odds, it is the local Muslims who have taken my care. Even during pandemic lockdown, the locals gave me essential commodities for my family,” Ahmad added.

Rajesh from Bihar selling caps and perfume outside the shrine said: “I know that some non-locals have been killed recently. But I am not worried about the current situation as locals have always stood with me.”

He said that his rented room is in Srinagar and Muslims invite him along his family on marriage ceremonies and other special occasions. “They treated us with love and respect,” he said.

“We have lived with Kashmiris in thick and thin. No local has harmed us ever. We are safe with locals here,” he said, adding that “Kashmir is an epitome of brotherhood and non-locals have full faith in Kashmiri brothers”.

A group of non-local stallholders said that it was unfortunate that poor non-locals have been killed. “But we have full faith in Kashmiris as well as the government who would ensure security of migrant workers who leave their families to earn livelihood here. We are thankful to people of Kashmir who condemn recent civilian killings and stand with us to give us a sense of security,” they said.

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