Even as Eid-ul-Adha is being celebrated on Monday, there is no festivity in the air in the Kashmir Valley. Sellers of sheep and goats, who made maximum business ahead of Eid, are struggling to find customers and barring groceries, very few shopkeepers are doing business nowadays.
“We are struggling to find customers as people do not know how the situation will pan out during Eid. They fear that they may not be able to distribute sacrificial meat in case there is curfew during Eid,” said Mehraj-ud-Din, who was seen selling sheep alongside the road on the Airport Road.
He said so far, they had done just 10 per cent business as compared to normal days. “Normally, I would have sold at least 20 sheep by now, but so far, I just managed to sell two. I am only hoping that I do some business in the coming two to three days. Otherwise it is going to be tough,” he said.
Bakeries too used to do brisk business on the occasion, but most of them are shut. Other businessmen continue to suffer.
“Most of the bakeries are shut while other shops are closed. Shops selling clothes are shut. We have not witnessed such a clampdown ahead of Eid before even though we have seen periods of unrest earlier. We heard in the news that the administration is trying to ensure smooth Eid celebrations. But so far, no action is visible on the ground,” said Abdul Rauf, general secretary of Magarmal Bagh Traders’ Federation.Parvez Dar, a resident, said, “This Eid was probably going to be a sombre one. The festival is just three days away and we are only seeing barbed wires on roads. No matter how grim the situation remained in the past in Kashmir, we have not seen such a dreadful atmosphere ahead of Eid.