With locals by their side, construction labourers continue to work without fear

The Lasjan Sumerbug area is known for various private sector units including hot mix plants, brick kilns, stone crusher units and other plants.
With locals by their side, construction labourers continue to work without fear
Various groups of non-local labourers working in Lasjan and Sumerbug said that they had decided against leaving Kashmir.Mir Imran for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: Amid recent civilian killings in Kashmir, hundreds of non-local workers working in the private sector at LasjanSumberbug said that they continue to work without fear as locals stand by their side.

The Lasjan Sumerbug area is known for various private sector units including hot mix plants, brick kilns, stone crusher units and other plants.

Besides locals, around 1000 to 1500 non-locals also work at these plants for the past three decades.

A non-local labourer, Vijay Kumar, who works at the local hot mix plant, said that he never thought of leaving Kashmir even after the recent killings.

“The locals have never harmed us. The owners of all these plants are Kashmiri Muslims and local labourers also work with us. Both the owners and local labourers working with us have always made us feel at home,” Kumar said.

He said that working in Kashmir was totally different than working in any other part of the country. “When we work in any part of the country, we are just treated as labourers. In Kashmir, whether you work in any industry, plant or for any private individual, they start treating you like a family member,” Kumar said.

Seconding him, another non-local labourerMunaYadav said that locals treat them with love and respect and also take care of their needs.

“In Kashmir, people don’t only hire us and pay remuneration but also offer free food and necessary things one needs. In winters, we get coal and vegetables free of cost from our Muslim brothers. The local shopkeepers provide us essential commodities on credit. So, we know how lovable people of Kashmir are and we are safe with them,” Yadav said.

About reports of some non-local labourers leaving Kashmir, he said, “As far as I know, no one has left Sumerbug. Maybe those few who had come to Kashmir the first time left in fear. We have been working in Kashmir for the past 16 years now and feel absolutely safe with our local brothers and sisters. They are our biggest security.”

Yadav said some seasonal workers leave Kashmir at the onset of winters but only to return back in the summers.

“Scores of non-local workers come to Kashmir but only to work here during the summers. Then they leave Kashmir in October and November and work at some other places during the winters. Maybe, the labourers who are leaving right now are those seasonal winters and will return in summer,” he said.

Various groups of non-local labourers working in Lasjan and Sumerbug said that they had decided against leaving Kashmir.

“Kashmir and Kashmiris are unique, lovable and a true symbol of humanity. We have lived with them through thick and thin. Amid the recent killings of non-local labourers, we continue to work here without any fear as locals stand by our side,” they said.

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