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Eid shopping: Lockdown persists in Srinagar, only essential services shops to open

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Despite earlier announcement of three-day relaxation for Eid shopping, restrictions continued in Srinagar on Tuesday.

The administration also announced that only essential services shops would be allowed to open for two days from Wednesday so that residents can buy goods for Eid-ul-Adha to be celebrated on August 1.

“Eid festival: Essential services shops to open from 9 am to 5 pm on 29 and 30 July in Srinagar. Shops to open with strict adherence to COVID-19 preventive guidelines. Maximum penalties in the form of sealing and fines ordered against violations,” Srinagar District Administration announced on its Twitter handle.

The announcement left both residents as well as the shopkeepers surprised.

“I don’t understand this. Essential services shops are still open otherwise people would have died. What type of logic is this?” asked Kamran Javed, a local.

Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, had earlier stated that there would be a three-day relaxation from July 28 to 30, prior to Eid, to allow people to buy sacrificial animals and other goods.

Pole, though, had mentioned that respective District Commissioners would issue separate guidelines to ensure implementation of Covid-19 related standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The shopkeepers, who were hoping that business activities would resume, were left fuming.

“We were hoping that shops would open today, but we have been left disappointed. The administration should reconsider its decision and allow shops to open,” said Javed.

“We have already stated that we will cooperate in the implementation of Covid-19 related SOPs. We cannot afford to remain in lockdown forever. There has to be a plan in place. Economic activities have come to a halt for the last one year (after abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019),” he said.

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