Apples—’with love from Kashmir’: Non-locals tell families back home

Almost all non-Kashmiri labourers took Kashmir apple boxes with them before leaving Valley; many got boxes free from their owners

Jammu, Oct 19: Fear may have pushed them to flee Kashmir, but it didn’t stop them to take Kashmiri apples along to give the same as a gift to their family members back home.

Hundreds of non-local labourers who left Kashmir out of fear in the wake of killing of their non-Kashmiri labourers, were seen carrying apple boxes with them at Tawi-Jammu. Witnesses told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that the rush at Jammu Tawi Railway station was unprecedented since morning where the non-local workers arrived from various parts of Kashmir.

People mainly from Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal, who were involved in construction and other menial jobs, started leaving from Kashmir on Sunday.

Sharing his experience, Natha Ram, a resident of Bihar said that he along with other Bihar residents were street vendors near Lal Chowk, where they sell masks and socks etc. “We are leaving out of fear otherwise, we could have stayed in Kashmir for one more month. But we are taking a gift from Kashmir—apples for our family members,” he beamed.

Another Bihar resident Zia Ul- Haq, who has worked in the construction industry in South Kashmir for some time, said that Kashmir is a nice place and people are also honest but some elements don’t want to see non-locals in the Valley. “We have taken along some apple boxes. Kashmiri apples are the best gift that we could give to our family members,” he said amid a smile. “This will depict the love and hospitality of Kashmir, once we will reach home.” Many non-local labourers said they were working in apple-orchards of Kashmir’s southern Shopian districts and the owners of orchards gave them five apple-boxes free of cost. “This indeed is something we will remember. Apple boxes are gift packs we are taking from Kashmir to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh,” they said—(KNO)