India

"No Jobs In Bihar": Opposition Targets Nitish Kumar On Kashmir Killings

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called for control on migration.

Patna:

The killings of Biharis in Kashmir has set off ripple effects in the state, with the opposition putting it down to what it calls the Nitish Kumar government's failure to create jobs. Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Tejashwi Yadav, who is also the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, has been vocal about it. He is seconded by Chirag Paswan, the Lok Janshakti Party chief known to be the Chief Minister's in-house opposition.

Since the last week, four men from Bihar has fallen to terrorists' bullets in Kashmir in a bout of attacks mostly targeting people from other states. All four had gone to Kashmir in search of work.

Arvind Sah, a resident of Bihar's Banka district who was selling gol gappas in Srinagar, was shot down four days ago. Yesterday, two labourers from Bihar were gunned down in Kulgam district.

"The Double Engine government's double whammy: "Won't give employment in Bihar. If you go out, you will be killed." Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ji puts a price of Rs 2 lakh on a Bihari's life and goes off to sleep," Tejashwi Yadav tweeted in Hindi this morning.

"Bihar's sons are being killed in Kashmir. They went to earn a living, got death. Why do people of Bihar have to go to places where there is a security threat? Because there is no work in Bihar? Question to Nitish ji - If there was employment in Bihar, would they have been targets of terrorists' bullets in Kashmir?" tweeted Chirag Paswan, who identifies himself as a "Yuva Bihar" (young Bihari) in his Twitter handle.

Tejashwi Yadav has also pointed out that the compensation for those killed in Kashmir was lesser than a man killed in snake bite in the state.

"Bihar government gives 4 lakh compensation for death due to snakebite and thrush, but gives 2 lakh rupees to Bihari laborers who have fled for livelihood due to the failure of the government and are being killed by terrorists. Amazing! "Destruction with injustice" is the basic mantra of the Nitish-BJP government," he said in another tweet.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called for control on migration, but expressed doubt whether it can be stopped. "Whatever I do, how can I ban anyone from looking for job elsewhere despite creating enough work opportunities here," he said.

Bihar being one of the few states sending out the maximum number of migrant workers, Nitish Kumar was criticised over the issue even during last year's lockdown.

Arvind Sah's family said there are more than 200 people from their area who are still working in the Kashmir Valley. But they conceded that after the killings, Kashmir will not be a destination any more for Biharis looking for work.

The state's labour minister Jivesh Mishra, who admitted that the killings have created some panic, brushed off suggestions that the people from the state are migrating as there are no jobs.

"I am very confident the state can arrange livelihoods. People have been travelling across states for decades. Calling it migration is not right. Many people are coming to Bihar also for livelihoods. This can't be avoided," he had told.