Amid confusion, rush of people witnessed across Kashmir markets

Rush at a shop ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr scheduled later this week, marking the end of holy month of Ramadhan in Srinagar on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Rush at a shop ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr scheduled later this week, marking the end of holy month of Ramadhan in Srinagar on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Long queues at ATMs, shops jam-packed; roads busy

Irfan Tramboo

Srinagar, May 11: After confusion about “relaxation” in Corona curfew in Srinagar as well as in other districts of Kashmir, a huge rush of people was witnessed across markets early in the morning and throughout the day in interiors while roads remained busy with the vehicular movement.
Monday late night it was reported that the administration has ordered relaxation from 8 am to 12 noon today for the sale of certain permissible items which included Meat, poultry, milk, vegetables in the wake of Eid-ul-Fitr festival. However, the administration refuted the reports but then it was too late.
Early in the morning, people were seen out on roads with shops of bakery, meat and other essentials witnessing a rush of people. The people were seen thronging the markets in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, Goni Khan and scores of places in the other parts of the city.
The officials of the district administration told Excelsior that there was some confusion and that there was no relaxation given at all. In an early morning Tweet, the Srinagar administration stated: “No partial relaxation announced by District Admin Srinagar. Order is amply clear. Misleading headlines can be seen in some Newspapers.”
However, nearing noon, the police were seen on the roads asking shoppers to go back to their homes, while the shopkeepers were asked to close down immediately.
There was an increased traffic rush also that was witnessed across Kashmir valley with the roads in Srinagar witnessing big jams.
The police were seen making announcements through the public address system asking people to stay back home keeping in view the increasing cases of COVID-19 in the district, but while many closed down their shops, several remained operational throughout the day through backdoors.
LG Manoj Sinha in a Tweet also urged people to follow SOPs. “Our biggest priority is to defeat this pandemic. I urge all of you to follow COVID appropriate behaviour and get vaccinated. We will soon prevail together over this pandemic,” he tweeted.
Superintendent of Police, East Srinagar, Tanushree told Excelsior that there was no relaxation given by the administration and that they made sure that people go back to their homes and shoppers close down their shops immediately.
“There has been some confusion regarding the relaxation ahead of Eid, while as in reality, no such thing has been announced by the administration; we appeal to people to stay back home and help the administration in arresting the spread of the infection,” she said.
Similar, rather more worrying scenes were also witnessed in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district where long queues were witnessed outside several ATMs across the districts with markets abuzz and filled with the people.
In the district, markets, shops were seen jam-packed and there was no end to the movement of the people even post noon. However, later, the shops were closed and people were asked to return to their homes.
The same was the case districts in South Kashmir such as Anantnag, Shopian Pulwama and others. A huge rush of people was also in these districts increasing the chances of further spread of the COVID-19 infection across Kashmir valley which is reporting the majority of COVID cases per day.