Eid-ul-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, would be observed across Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday. It would, however, be a low-key affair this time across Kashmir, including the summer capital Srinagar, in the wake of civilian killings by forces during the ongoing uprising that entered its 66th day on Monday.
The roads leading to major Eidgahs, Masjids and Shrines are likely to remain under siege and there would be heavy deployment of forces in all major towns and “sensitive” places to foil any pro-freedom protests, officials said.
The police is likely to disallow congregational prayers at Eidgahs to avoid big gatherings, they said.
The only visible sign of Eid, according to people, would be a handful of people sacrificing animals.
The joint resistance camp has called for march to UN office here on Tuesday and appealed people across Kashmir to offer Eid prayers at 8:30 am in all places, to express unity and brotherhood.
Reports and witnesses said markets across Kashmir remained closed and there was no festive look anywhere, which otherwise has been a tradition associated with Eid. On this Eid, people didn’t throng markets for meat and bakery.
“On Monday, while all markets in Kashmir remained closed for 66th consecutive day due to shutdown call given by joint resistance camp, people had also voluntarily opted to not make any special preparations for the Eid,” said a group of people at Srinagar’s Regal Chowk.
They said soon after the devastating floods of 2014, Eid-ul-Adha was celebrated with austerity, but people had made it to markets for meat and bakery.
In the evening, during the relaxation period announced by the joint resistance camp, the markets re-opened but witnessed low footfall of shoppers.
“The entire Kashmir is burning. We are mourning the killing of 80 civilians. Hundreds have been injured in forces’ action and scores blinded by pellets,” said Ghulam Qadir of Srinagar’s Gawkadal locality. “In such a situation, we have to express solidarity with the victims and their families. To celebrate Eid with austerity is a message that we all are one, united for the cause.”
Though the divisional administration had said curfew has been lifted from entire Kashmir, locals at Nowhatta here and its adjacent areas said strict curbs remained in force on Monday.
Few of the street vendors had lined up on pavements in city centre but witnessed no business activity.
Muhammad Yasin Khan, Chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance and President of Kashmir Traders’ and Manufacturers Federation said they stand with the people.
“The business turnover on Eid even would be around Rs 5000 crore in a week’s time. It includes buying of sacrificial animals, gold and other things. We continued with shutdown on the call of joint resistance camp and didn’t open our shops,” he said. “We will continue to follow the program. We are a part and parcel of the society. We stand with our victim brothers and sisters. We too are observing Eid with austerity.”
In South Kashmir districts of Anantnag (Islamabad), Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama, complete shutdown was observed on Monday. Reports and witnesses said people didn’t make any preparations for the Eid and continued to hold pro-freedom protests as usual.
“No bakery shops prepared any products. Meat and chicken didn’t see any demand. In evening, the markets reopened in view of the relaxation call announced by the joint resistance leadership, but saw no shoppers,” said Habibullah of Anantnag.
Kupwara, Baramulla, Bandipora districts in north Kashmir also remained shut for 66th day. While shopping centers were deserted, there was an eerie silence everywhere indicating that locals are in no mood to celebrate Eid this time.
“Every Eid I would get clothes for my children and also cook several dishes at home. Several civilians were killed by Indian forces and hundreds are injured, being treated in various hospitals. We cannot celebrate Eid amid mourning,” said Ghulam Rasool of Baramulla.