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13 held for charging money from labourers for 'smooth' entry into J&K

Jammu: Thirteen people have been arrested for illegally charging labourers from outside Jammu and Kashmir on the pretext of facilitating their "smooth entry" into the Union Territory, police on Tuesday.

Seven cases, including one in Punjab, have been registered in this connection, they said.

A probe has also been instituted against some policemen, including an assistant sub-inspector, after it came to light that they tried to allow entry of people from the second bridge over Ravi river in violation of the set protocol, Senior Superintendent of Police, Kathua, Shailendra Kumar Mishra

said.

"The entry to Jammu and Kashmir from outside is being allowed under certain guidelines as part of the efforts to prevent the spread of novel Coronavirus... We came to know that some mischievous elements, taking advantage of the situation, are misleading J&K-bound labourers in Punjab and charging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 per head," Mishra told reporters in

Kathua.

Cautioning the labourers against the touts, he said there is no need to pay money to anyone as everyone wishing to enter Jammu and Kashmir has to follow the set protocol and undergo COVID-19 test, which is done at Lakhanpur free of cost.

"The touts used to approach the labours on their arrival in Pathankot since the interstate bus service is suspended and make them believe that their entry into the UT is impossible without their help," the SSP said, adding the frightened labourer fell prey to them and thus ending up losing their hard-earned money.

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