Amid the recent killing of civilians in Jammu and Kashmir, former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Monday (October 18, 2021) said that Biharis can settle the Kashmir issue if it's left to them. The statement comes after two labourers from Bihar were gunned down by terrorists in Kulgam district on Sunday, taking the total number of civilians killed in targeted attacks in the union territory this month to 11.
Manjhi said, "There is no doubt that the government is making all efforts... Still, incidents are taking place. So I say that if the situation is getting out of control, we Biharis will settle the Kashmir issue if it`s left to us."
When asked how he would sort out the issue, he said, "We will form a strategy. We will talk to people. We have excellent officers in Bihar. With their help, we will sort out the issue."
Earlier, incumbent Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also condemned the targeted killing of Bihari migrant workers in Jammu and Kashmir and said that the incidents have created an "environment of fear".
Kumar said he has spoken to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and senior Bihar officials are in touch with their counterparts in the union territory over the incidents.
"It's a matter of serious concern that people who have gone for work are being deliberately targeted in J&K. Authorities concerned must remain alert to check such incidents there," he said.
"Every citizen is free to go to any corner of the country for work. The latest incident in which two labourers from Bihar were killed in J&K is quite serious as militants barged into the accommodation of the victims and fired on them. Their bodies are being brought back to Bihar," the Janata Dal (United) leader said.
"I hope that J&K authorities will now be alert and make adequate security arrangements to ensure that no one, especially migrant workers, is attacked there. They should obtain information about migrant workers and the place where they are residing," Kumar added.
Meanwhile, the Bihar government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased, and issued instructions to the department of labour and social welfare to ensure that benefits under relevant schemes reach the bereaved families.