The abrogation of Article 370 has not locked down just Kashmir, but has also increased the plight of migrant workers from other states who were earning their livelihood there. After 5 August thousands of workers from hundreds of villages in Western Champaran returned from Kashmir in a state of hunger and starvation. As banks remained closed at that time, crores of rupees due as their wages remained unpaid.
On 30 September 2019, workers who returned from Kashmir to Betia held a People’s Dialogue under the auspices of CPIML, AICCTU and AIARLA. Sharing their distress, they said that the abrogation of 370 and caging of Kashmiris by the Modi government are acts of criminal persecution. They said that as they were returning from Kashmir, the Army had beaten them up. The people there are being tortured and persecuted.
Jitendra Mahto from Mainatand Rampurva said that we were 13 workers from my village in Pulwama and all of us are Hindus, but during the time of terror in the aftermath of the abrogation of 370, it was the Muslims who were concerned about our safety.
At the Dialogue the workers demanded from the Government of India and the Bihar Government that the crores of rupees due as wages to thousands of workers from Champaran and other districts should be paid without delay and the workers should be given compensation for the loss of employment.