After a brief lull of a forced shutdown, vendors have resurfaced in the streets of the Kashmir Valley. The vendors stayed away from the market for unknown reasons while some said they were told by the authorities to remain at home. But Sunday turned out to be surprisingly different as the stretch from TRC to Polo View witnessed a huge rush of shoppers which triggered traffic congestion.
“How long can we stay at home? We have to feed our families...” said Shafiq Ahmad, a vendor at the flea market which is known for second-hand clothes.
Four days back after Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in Parliament that everything was normal in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, markets in the Valley went back to shutdown.
Police officials said that militants and their associates were forcing the closure of shops by threatening shopkeepers and vendors. They said that they had arrested several people who were involved in threatening people from resuming their business.
However, the opening of the Sunday market brought a little relief to residents. While the vendors say their opening should not be “used as a statement of normalcy”, they operate with fear.
“We want to say that opening the shops is our compulsion for survival. We do not want anyone to use it for their politics,” said a vendor in the market.