JAMMU: Desperate to exit the Kashmir valley amid targeted killings of civilians from outside the region, hundreds of migrant workers and their families were seen rushing to ticket counters at the railway station and bus stand in Jammu on Wednesday. Many labourers claimed they had wages pending with their employers and feared running out of cash. Public transport vehicles arriving in Jammu, be it buses or taxis, were full to capacity, with the luggage on the vehicle roofs clearly indicating migrants moving out of the Valley. Badri Nath, a resident of Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, said they had come to Kashmir to earn better wages but were now scared of being hunted by terrorists. Claiming that many of them had not been paid their pending dues by employers, he said, “Most of us are running short of money, therefore we want to reach home as soon as possible.” “We want to appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and our chief ministers in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to rescue us at the earliest,” another migrant worker said. They also alleged that cab drivers have been fleecing them and demanded free food service for workers returning home as they were short of resources. Meanwhile, some social organisations have started helping people returning from the Valley. The Traders’ Federation of Nehru Market in Jammu has started a community kitchen service at the railway station. Various political and non-political organisations, like BJYM (the BJP youth wing), J&K National Panthers Party, All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference, Shiv Sena Dogra Front and Shiv Sena (Thackeray) staged demonstrations on Wednesday and raised slogans against Pakistan, blaming it for the targeted killings. Eleven civilians, including five migrant workers, have been killed by terrorists in J&K in October.

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