SRINAGAR: Nearly a week after a blanket communications clampdown disconnected the Valley from the rest of the world, authorities eased up the curfew-like restrictions on Saturday. An uneasy calm prevailed in Kashmir on Saturday as the hustle and bustle associated with the festival of Eid was clearly missing from the markets and there are no takers for sacrificial animals.
Provision stores, bakeries and meat shops in the city centre Lal Chowk and other parts opened for business on Saturday morning. After remaining confined to their homes for five days due to the restrictions in the Valley over the abrogation of Article 370, people came out to purchase essentials. “I used to purchase bakery items worth Rs 3,000-4,000 on Eid. This time owing to the situation I cut down the prices and purchased something for the children,” said Zafar Ahmad, a resident of Chanapora area of uptown Srinagar.
An official at Mughal Darbar bakery shop maintained that production was low this Eid. “Owing to the situation, we cut down on production of our bakery items this Eid,” he said.There were no long queues at the shop as used to be the case on the eve of Eid either. “Only fewer people are visiting the shops to purchase the bakery today,” he said.
People were also purchasing mutton but in less quantity and less number. “Our family comprises eight members and I didn’t purchase mutton. I used to purchase 5-6 kg of meat every Eid but now owing to prevailing situation, I think we will survive without it,” said Abdul Hamid of Baghat, Srinagar.There are also no takers for sacrificial animals. “On this Eid, I did not purchase the sacrificial animals. In the present crisis, my priority remained the day-to-day life. I purchased essentials including ration, oil, medicines and baby milk,” said Zahoor Ahmad of Natipora.
A nomad, Ali Mohammad Gojar, who was selling sacrificial animals at Baghaat Srinagar, said this year there has been less demand for the sacrificial animal. “People prefer to buy essentials as there are apprehensions that the curfew-like restrictions will continue for a long time,” he said. Gojar said due to less demand, the prices of sacrificial animals has dropped considerably.“We used to sell a sheep in the range of Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000. But now we are selling it at a price of Rs 15,000 and still people are not willing to purchase it,” he said.
First things first
- Locals are stocking up on ration, medicines, milk and essentials
- Apprehension that curfew-like restrictions will continue
- No takers for sacrificial animals