MAKKAH: Kashmiri Muslims on a spiritual journey of Haj, one of the five pillars of Islam, are worried on the festival day of Eid-ul-Adha as they yearn to connect with their dear ones and relatives.
Kashmir is witnessing a security lockdown with telecommunication services remaining suspended ahead of the decision taken over revoking provisions under Article 370 that granted special status to the state.
There are around 15000 people from different parts of Kashmir said to be performing Haj this year.
"I have worked in the government service all these years but not seen such a situation. We are terribly upset with restrictions on communication through phone, WhatsApp or internet on our festival Eid", said Gulam Rasool, 60, a retired government officer from Srinagar.
Apprehensive Kashmiris were seen discussing the prevailing circumstances in their state, expressing concern about the welfare of their people besides fearing fresh violence and protests.
"Eid signifies happiness but we miss it. The only big solace for us like any pilgrim here is accomplishing Haj. The global community should take cognisance, we equally support peace," said Misbah Manzoor Wani from Pulwama.
The women from Kashmir appeared more tense over the safety of their relatives.
"On a day of Eid, at least there should be some relaxation and we should be allowed to speak to our people back home. Like any human being, we too have sentiments", said Aisha Akhter from Baramula.
Afroza, a mother of six daughters, was narrating her pain as tears rolled down her cheeks. "I pray they all remain safe, secure and happy on Eid," she said.
Fahmida Akhtar who is on the Haj trip with her husband yearns to hear the voices of their three children living in Kupwara.
Similarly, another pilgrim Basheer Ahmed from Shopian asks, "Why this complete isolation for us?" as he questioned the "imposition of the restrictions and the prevailing uncertainty" in the Valley.
Most of them didn't hide their strong displeasure as they remain out of touch with anyone in Kashmir for the past one week.