A government spokesperson in Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar declined to comment on the movement of migrant workers.
The decision to move workers came after an attack on migrant laborers from the eastern Bihar state on Sunday. Police said militants barged into a rented room in Kashmir’s Kulgam district and fired at them, leaving two dead and one wounded.
Kashmir has gone through various bouts of violence over the years, but the latest wave of attacks appears to be targeted toward non-Kashmiris, including migrant workers, and members of the minority Hindu and Sikh communities in the Muslim-majority valley.
The hundreds of thousands of migrant workers currently in Kashmir form the backbone of the region’s workforce in agriculture and construction.
Some of them said they now fear for their lives.
“We have seen worse times, but were never targeted. Esta vez, we are afraid,” said Mohammed Salam, 32, originally from Bihar, who has worked in Kashmir for the past six years.
Salam said police picked him up, along with others, from rented accommodation on Sunday night and moved them to a protected area.
“We can’t sit idle here,” él dijo, “We will go back.”