September 3, 2010, Srinagar: Life was back to normal for a day in the Kashmir Valley Friday as authorities lifted curfew and separatists called off protests and shutdowns.
“There is no curfew in any area of Srinagar city today capital after separatists withdrew their protests Friday, also a public holiday on the occasion of Jaumat-ul-Vida. Government offices, banks, educational institutions, and post offices were closed here on account of Jaumat-ul-Vida, which is the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.. Restrictions have also been lifted from south Kashmir’s Anantnag town. However, restrictions have been imposed in Kunzar area near Tangmarg in Baramulla district and in Kupwara town,” a senior police officer told Agence India Press.
Shops, public transport and other businesses opened up normally for the first time in a long time in Srinagar city as people came out in large numbers to buy essential commodities.
Traffic police had a tough time regulating the movement of public and private vehicles as they blocked most major roads in Srinagar city. Locals came out in large numbers to shop for Eid that falls around Sep 10 after the current fasting month of Ramadan ends.
“One never knows what is going to happen here tomorrow. I decided to buy a few things for my family today because of the present turmoil. We have decided to celebrate Eid with absolute austerity this year,” said Bilal Ahmad, a local resident here.
The Hurriyat group headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani asked people to resume normal activities of life for a day Friday and buy essential items.
Geelani’s group has been issuing resistance calendars for the last two months now as part of the group’s ‘Quit Kashmir’ campaign.
Geelani has announced a fresh resistance programme as part of the breakaway Hurriyat group’s Quit Kashmir campaign.
As per the latest resistance calendar, people have been asked to resume normal activities on Sep 3, 5, 9, 10 and 11 while they have been asked to observe
protest shutdowns on Sep 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14 and 15.
The valley’s educational institutions, business activities and the operations of local transporters have been following the resistance programme announced by Geelani’s group. As a consequence, huge losses have been suffered by the traders in the last three months.
At least 65 people have lost their lives because of the ongoing unrest that started here June 11.
by Bilal Furqani, Agence India Press