Kashmir markets witness crowd after 133 days, separatists suspend agitation

“Even during relaxation hours, we could not do routine business because of the frequent clashes between youth and protesters."
Srinagar : Some relief from Curfew

After 133 days of standstill, markets in Kashmir witnessed activity in full force for the second day, as the separatists have suspended their agitation for the weekend after more than four months of continuous shutdown.

The report of Greater Kashmir claimed that it was for the first time since July 8, that joint resistance leadership had announced two day (Saturday and Sunday) relaxation in its protest calendar. Earlier, the joint resistance leaders would announce relaxation from 4 pm to 7 pm twice or thrice a week, it added.

Shops, business establishments including restaurants etc along with fuel stations were opened for the whole day on Saturday, and continued to be open on Sunday.

After remaining shut for 133 straight days since July 8, Kashmir on Saturday opened for a full-day with business establishments, private institutions and transport resuming their activities. Streets witnessed huge rush of pedestrians, private and public transport, report said.

Reportedly, the shops had been open since early morning. Also, earlier those of who couldn’t open their shops even during the relaxation hours earlier, because of being located in highly volatile areas could also be seen doing business today.

“Even during relaxation hours, we could not do routine business because of the frequent clashes between youth and protesters,” said Muhammad Ismail, a shopkeeper from Khudwani area of Qaimoh in Kulgam district.

The shopkeepers in all major towns Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Awantipora, Pampore, Bijbehara, Tral and Mattan witnessed huge rush of customers.

“It has been a very busy day for me attending the customers,” said owner of the hosiery shop in Lal Chowk area of Anantnag town. People were seen buying woollens and other winter wears.

However, reports of closure of ATMs were received from almost all the areas of the Northern districts disappointing the traders.

Also, public transport was plying normally, while inter-district connectivity also improved, officials told PTI.

They said the presence of traffic personnel on the roads was increased to manage the increased traffic. Similar reports of rush in markets were received from most of the other district headquarters of the Valley, the officials said.

However, schools remained opened with thin presence of students.

It is to be noted that situation has improved in the last few weeks in the valley, which had been hit by clashes between protesters and security forces following Hizbul militant Burhan Wani’s killing in an encounter.

Greater Kashmir reported that during the four months of unrest, at least 97 people including two cops were killed while over 15,000 others sustained injuries with over 700 of them hit by pellets fired by security forces.