As the Valley markets usually remain flooded with the shoppers ahead of EID, the business places especially the commercial Hub Lal Chowk wore a deserted look on Friday as the authorities had imposed restrictions in the areas falling under seven Police Stations.
The restrictions under section 144 were imposed a day after the civilian was killed in Kakapora area of Pulwama district.
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) had also called for a protest after the Friday prayers against the killing.
However, the Valley markets including the commercial Hub Lal Chowk, Maisuma, Koker Bazar, Jamia Masjid, Khanyar and others wore a deserted look today.
The shopkeepers at most of the places said that they only had a few shoppers visiting their shops. “The markets usually remain flooded ahead of the EID but it is for the first time when a few shoppers visited our shop,” they said.
However, the shops at the various areas, which remained under restrictions today failed to open their shops as the large contingent of forces were already deployed on the roads to thwart any possible protest against the civilian killing.
The market in the premises of Jamia Masjid, which usually witnessed a huge rush of shoppers especially on Jumma-tul-Vida also remained closed due to the restrictions.
Meanwhile, the street vendors at various places who had installed their stalls said that they receive a less number of customers today.
“As the market witnessed a less number of shoppers, I managed to earn only Rs 500 so far,” a street vendor.
Meanwhile, reports from Baramulla said that markets remained abuzz with people in large numbers thronging shops.
The shopkeepers had showcased clothes, accessories, mobile phones, ready-made garments and other products to get maximum footfall.
Parents were seen shopping for children clothes and toys while the shops selling ladies’ clothes and accessories witnessed a good rush.
Farooq Ahmad, who runs a home appliance shop said there is a drop in sales by 20 to 25 per cent as compared to last Eid, “the overall shopping enthusiasm was fine”.
“Electric gadgets like microwave ovens pick up demand ahead of Eid,” he said.
“Kids’ products are in great demand. Ready-made garments are among favorite purchases,” Ahmad said.
Mansoor Ahmad, a bakery shop owner said that in order to avoid last minute rush, people prefer to purchase cakes, pastries and other bakery products few days ahead of Eid.
“Goods like dry fruit bowls, paintings, wall art, flower vases are literally selling like hot cakes,” he said.
Owners of furniture and furnishing shops, especially those selling carpets and pillows were satisfied with the customer response.
Many newly opened boutiques selling women wears said they have reaped some good business. “The response is good.”
Interestingly, dry fruits are also among popular products this Eid. Packaged dry fruits available at super markets are finding many takers.
Given the hustle and bustle in market, roads and lanes were congested besides pavements were covered with the stalls.
Private vehicular movement was seen jam packed on roads and main market of the town as well.