The strife ridden Kashmir has always been exhibiting both sides of the coin, a dichotomy of sorts so endemic to the conflict places. On Sunday it was on full display.
Hours after six militants were gunned down in one of the biggest operations of the recent days, the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) called for a day long mourning strike. In quick follow up, authorities restricted movement in certain areas and downgraded the bandwidth to mobile telephony. Even the Railwayss that runs a service between Banihal and Barmaulla stopped the service for the day.
Reports from Hajin, the spot of the fierce clash that also witnessed killing of an IAF Garud commando, said that hundreds of people visited the spot of the clash in Chandangeer. At around 2 pm, a gathering was reported that offered funeral prayers in absentia to the slain militants.
Minutes later, a heavily armed militant reported to the belt, slightly away from the spot of the clash. He was surrounded by almost a 1000-strong mob and they were shouting slogans for Azaadi.
In Srinagar, the traffic was low in number on roads and most of the businesses were closed. The offices were otherwise on the weekly off. But the tuition shops and the flea market of Sunday was open. People came and made purchases.
Not far away from Lal Chowk, a Bollywood crew was busy shooting sequences just on the other bank of Jhelum, outside the Convent Higher Secondary School. There were cops around and a bit of small crowd watching the filmi people walk English and talk English.
Police said the crew belonged to Sajid Ali, Imtiaz Ali’s younger brother, who is remaking Laila Majnu. It has Deepthi and Avinash Tiwary in its lead. The crew is here for well over 15 days and the strike call did not come in between their dates and the schedule. They have shot various sequences across most of Kashmir’s picnic spots. To cut costs, the crew has even hired local artists.