SRINAGAR: After 78 days of the continuous curfew and shutdown, the shops and other businesses opened in Kashmir for the first time and were abuzz with activity on Sunday.
Businesses, including petrol pumps, at the city centre Lal Chowk here and other parts of the Valley opened at sharp 2 pm after separatists relaxed the shutdown. They have, however, extended the strike up to September 29. Traffic was also back on the roads. Giving a semblance of normalcy were private vehicles as there was no public transport vehicle on the roads.
A commuter, Javed Ahmad of downtown Nowhatta, said that after a long time he could walk on the roads freely without anybody stopping him.
Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation president Mohammad Yasin Khan said there was a good rush of shoppers. “However, people were purchasing only essential items. People are also judiciously spending money as they don’t know what will happen tomorrow,” he said. “Shopkeepers usually keep stocks for autumn and winter months. But this time we haven’t made any new purchases. The situation on ground has still not improved,” he added.