It’s not only deeply mysterious, and even scary, that  large groups of labourers and beggars from other states and entering Kashmir at certain entry points are having a free entry, a free run, if you like, without being subjected to the necessary restrictions involving a mandatory 14-day quarantine and other precautions underlying the Covid protocol. Even more enigmatic, It has been found that not more than 3-4% of the passengers landing here at the Srinagar airport are local Kashmiris who are travelling back home from other parts of India. What’s indeed surprising is that upon being asked what brings them to Kashmir in the middle of such inhospitable conditions surrounding the Covid pandemic, these remaining 97% nonlocals give away the most outlandish reason for their visit to Kashmir: that they are here to pursue “computer courses” in Kashmir!! That’s laughable, plainly ludicrous, given that no institute of education, whether private or public, has been allowed to open in Kashmir ever since the first lockdown was announced way back in the third week of March. Still funnier is the plea of pursuing computer science in a place where even the 2G- internet service is available, but only in fits and starts. Looks like a typical case of a method in the madness.

Though there is not much that the common residents of Kashmir would be required to do about it, the least they can and should do is to STRICTLY DESIST from giving away charity to the beggars who are seen to be thronging the markets, traffic intersections, hospitals and shrines and what have you.

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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Written by Amin Sofi


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