City markets re-opened today evening after 11 days, during the relaxation period announced by joint resistance leadership.
As the clock ticked to 6’ O’ Clock, shopkeepers upped the shutters of shops and customers started making a beeline.
The last time, city markets remained open on September 12, during the relaxation period. It was a day before Eid-ul-Adha.
The protest calendar issued from September 17 to 22 had urged people to observe complete shutdown, without any relaxation.
Various shopkeepers had arrived around 2 pm today and could be seen cleaning the footpaths in front of their shops.
People had also thronged the markets, waiting for clock to tick 6 O’ Clock.
“It is after 11 days that I am here. I came around 4pm here. I cleaned the area in front of my shop as I expect a good number of customers would visit us,” said Ashraf Ahmad, a shopkeeper at Regal Chowk. The street vendors had also begun preparations from 5pm.
A number of pedestrians and private vehicles increased after 6pm at commercial hub Lal Chowk, Hari Singh High Street, Jahangir Chowk, MA Road, residency road, Regal Chowk, Polo View, Dalgate, Sonwar, Pantha Chowk, Habba Kadal, Fateh Kadal, Rambagh, Sanat Nagar, Jawahar Nagar, Rajbagh, Bemina, Qamarwari, HMT and other places. Traffic police was also on roads to regulate the rush of traffic.
Deployment of forces was lifted from Shaher-e-Khaas at 4pm. The area remained peaceful and no reports of stone pelting were received from anywhere. Markets also re-opened in evening.
Despite directions from the state authorities to government-owned corporations to open their outlets and go back to business in the summer capital amid restrictions and resistance camp-backed shutdown, these outlets remained closed during the day.
During the day, considerable movement of pedestrians and private vehicles started in civil lines and uptown on Saturday afternoon. A brief traffic jam was also witnessed at Jawahar Nagar, Rajbagh and Rambagh.
Meanwhile, complete shutdown was observed in city centre on consecutive 78th day while several areas in Shaher-e-Khaas remained under curfew. Offices, shops and petrol pumps remained closed while public transport was off the roads.
“Curfew continued in Nowhatta, M R Gunj and Khanyar police station areas of the summer capital today,” said an official.
The official said that restrictions on the assembly of people under section 144 CrPC remained in force in Srinagar.