SRINAGAR: The curfew-like restrictions in force in the Valley in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 were eased on Saturday to enable locals to stock up on essentials and restore a semblance of normalcy ahead of Eid. However, the air of uneasy calm, pervading the Valley since the rollback of constitutional privileges guaranteed under Article 370 and the security clampdown, continued. The temporary suspension of communication lines and internet, too, continued for the sixth consecutive day.
While private vehicles were plying in Srinagar and some other parts of the Valley, grocery stores, bakery and meat shops were open in some areas. Locals were seen purchasing essential, as well as bakery and meat for Eid-ul-Adha, which would be celebrated on Monday. There were long queues outside ATMs as well.
“I am here to withdraw money to purchase essentials and items for Eid,” Manzoor Ahmad, a youth waiting outside an ATM at Srinagar’s Pantha Chowk, said.Some locals have voiced fears of an identity crisis in the wake of the loss of special status. Mohammad Shafi, a youth from Baghat area of Srinagar, said people in Kashmir have lost their identity after the Valley was stripped off its special status under Article 370. “It seems this move is aimed at changing the demography of Kashmir,” he said.Imran Ahmad, a government employee, said Delhi has conducted “surgical strike” on the people of Kashmir.
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With the imposition of curfew-like restrictions, non-locals, especially migrant labourers, have been leaving the Valley on the advice of authorities.