Life in curfew-hit Srinagar: Petrol in black, stores open half-shutter at night


As curfew stretched on for a third day on Monday, indefinitely suspending civic life, Srinagar almost resembled a ghost town.

Grocery stores, vegetable shops, petrol pumps and other business establishments remained shuttered, even as the death toll from protests went up by one more; a youth died on Sunday from injuries sustained in the police fire.

Security forces were deployed across the city to curtail any simmering outbreak of a protest, with an additional 800 officers of the Central Reserve Police Force being rushed to the Valley, official sources said.

In comparison with semi-urban locations, Srinagar has been lesser affected by the killing of Burhan Wani, the star commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, after which violent protests broke out.

Nevertheless, streets of Srinagar remained completely devoid of human presence and activity, even at the commercial centre of Lal Chowk. Tourist hot-spots such as Dal Lake and Boulevard Road also remained deserted.

Some grocery stores had opened up at night, at around 8 pm, to let residents stock up on reserves. Many kept their shutters half drawn to shut down quickly in case police came by or a protest broke out.

“We are opening late evenings, but the fact is that stocks are running out. You can see some of the shelves empty. The roads are closed and stock isn’t coming in. Moreover, I am accepting only cash since internet is down and card-machines are not working,” said one proprietor of a departmental store in Jawaharnagar area.

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