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Mamata govt to give Rs 50k to Kashmir-return labourers

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said her government will provide a one- time assistance of Rs 50,000 to all 133 labourers who had to leave their jobs in Kashmir and return to the state.

The government would also make accommodation arrangements under its 'Banglar Bari' scheme for those who do not own houses, she said.

A total of 138 labourers, including five from Assam, arrived here on Monday from Kashmir by a special coach of Jammu Tawi Express arranged by the state government.

The men, who had gone to the Valley to earn livelihood, had expressed their desire to return, in the wake of the recent killing of five labourers by terrorists.

"All 133 labourers who have returned home from Kashmir yesterday are helpless with no jobs. We have decided to help them with a one-time financial assistance of Rs 50,000 so that they can restart their lives.

"I have spoken to the chief secretary and the finance secretary before taking this decision," the chief minister said at the state secretariat.

The workers, mostly from Birbhum, Cooch Behar and Dakshin Dinajpur districts, were employed with plyboard factories and apple orchards in the trouble-torn Valley. They drew salaries in the range of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000.

The TMC supremo said she had directed district magistrates to help the children of the returnees with their education.

"Those who do not own a house will be provided one under 'Banglar Bari' scheme. The families of these labourers are already getting rice at Rs 2 per kg," she maintained.

On October 29, five labourers were shot dead by terrorists in Kulgam district of Kashmir.

One worker, who sustained bullet injuries in the attack, is undergoing treatment at a Srinagar hospital.

Condemning the attack, Banerjee had sought a "strong" inquiry into the incident to find our the "real truth".

She also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of the victims.

Earlier, too, during demonetisation, the TMC government had provided financial assistance to labourers who had to return to the state having lost their jobs.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 05 2019. 20:05 IST