SRINAGAR: Curfew like restriction in the parts of old city hampered businesses and paralysed life on the occasion of Eid.
People were forced to stay indoors as government feared street protests against civilian killing in Kakpora area of Pulwama where three militants were killed in an encounter and a civilian was shot dead by government forces during a protest near the site of the encounter.
The call for protest was given by joint resistance leadership. With restrictions in place, vehicles stayed off the roads and businesses received few customers.
Shopkeepers told Kashmir Reader that their earnings on a festive day like Friday turned out to be “much lesser” than a normal day.
“We witnessed little sales today. This day otherwise is one of the highest earners throughout the year,” said a shopkeeper at Koker Bazar. “There are no rush of shoppers on the streets.”
Shopkeepers said that they earned an average of rupees 15000 over the past few days as Eid shopping peaked. “Our sales have come down to zero today.”
Ubair Ahmad, a shopkeeper in Batamaloo, said restrictions have hit the market bad. He said that government should not have imposed the curfew because Jummat-ul-vada is a big day for sales for shopkeepers.
“Our customers are mostly from old city and north Kashmir. This move has also stopped people from other district from visiting us,” he said.
Besides the usual food items that form a part of every dastarkhwan on Eid, readymade garments, cloth, cosmetics, furniture, and jewellery are in high demand.
“As Eid is nearing, people come to the markets for festivities. But here in Kashmir, we are caged and crumbled at our own home,” said Bisma Farooq from Khanyar who was disappointed with the restrictions.
“Four days before, Lal Chowk and other adjoining markets were buzzing. But today people are not allowed to come out.”