After being informed that the government was sending them to Jammu by aircraft9*, several labourers from Bihar and Punjab had gathered at the airport in Srinagar. However, once they reached there, they allege that they were beaten and asked for Rs 4,000 per ticket.
“I had Rs 500 with me. Somehow I managed to reach the airport…After waiting five days, however, we are not able to talk to an official who can help us. We were beaten ruthlessly,” says Surinder Kumar, a native of Gurdaspur in Punjab who has been working in Srinagar as a carpenter for the last 25 years.
He says his only option is to walk along the Jammu-Srinagar highway hoping to reach home. Several others accompany him. “We do not know the exact route. We will just follow this railway track that joins the highway,” says Milan Jeet, Surinder’s companion.