SRINAGAR: Big queues formed in Kashmir’s main city on Saturday outside cash machines and food stores as authorities eased a crippling curfew to let the Himalayan region prepare for Eid festival, residents said.
But huge numbers of troops remained on the streets a day after security forces used tear gas to break up a demonstration by about 8,000 people against the government’s move to revoke Kashmir’s autonomy, they added.
The Eid al Adha festival on Monday looms as the next big test for the week-old lockdown in the region, where the government has ended decades-old rights to property and jobs for local Kashmiris.
Internet and phone lines have been cut and curfew restrictions have been imposed to prevent unrest over the constitutional move which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said was needed to bring peace and prosperity to the troubled region.
More cars and pedestrians were on the streets on Saturday.
“We can do more but it is still tough, everyone is closely watched,” said one resident. “Our lives are still dominated by razor wire and checkpoints.”
“Bank machines are running out of cash so there are queues at every machine where notes may be available. People also need food for Eid,” added a second resident.
But media reports said authorities would only decide on Sunday whether restrictions would be eased for what is one of the most important festivals of the year. — AFP