Martyrs Day: Business Slumps in Old City



OId city on Monday

The business around Old city areas slumped on Monday after authorities decided to impose restrictions in many parts of the Srinagar to thwart the proposed rally by separatist groups in remembrance of July 13, 1931 martyrs.

Restrictions were imposed in areas falling under jurisdiction of five police stations including Nowhatta, Khanyar, M R Gunj, Rainawari and Safakadal.

Shops and business establishments were closed and minimal traffic plied on roads. Markets have been witnessing a bustle in run up to Eid-Ul-Fitr but restrictions on Monday forced shop-owners down their shutters. Sigificantly, Hurriyat groups, in a joint declaration, did not issue any hartal call on Martyrs Day skipping the tradition of last two and a half decades.

“We were registering an increase in our sales in wake of the Eid but today’s restrictions have slowed down the business,” said one shopkeeper in Nowhatta area.

The markets across downtown area generally remain crowded with visitors. Moreso, when a festival is imminent, the area witnesses an unusual commercial bloom. But this time around, restrictions imposed by authorities marred the convivial mood of the general public.

“During final days of Ramzan, this area remains alive with festivity,” said one resident of Khanyar. “Today it looks gloomy.”

Early Monday, unionist politicians paid floral tributes to 21 Martyrs of July 13, 1931 who were killed by Dogra forces outside central jail in Srinagar. However, ruling coalition partner BJP skipped the function. CM Mufti in his message described them as brave heroes “who laid down their lives against suppression and autocracy”.

Authorities clamped down on separatist groups in view of the joint march, however, some leaders tried to take out the march but were bundled in police gypsies.


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