Heavy rain played spoilsport on Tuesday as people in Kashmir remained busy thronging bakery, mutton, poultry, and sacrificial animal markets ahead of the holy Muslim festival of ‘Eid-ul-Azha’ falling on Wednesday.
Following the Islamic tradition set up by Prophet Abrahim, Muslims all over the world offer animal sacrifices on Eid-ul-Azha.
Animal markets have come up at the Eidgah grounds in Srinagar city and other places in the old city areas while the sale and purchase of these animals continued on Tuesday in all major towns of the Valley.
Prices fixed by the administration for sacrificial animals and other essentials of life were breached as both the sellers and the buyers did not seem bothered about the official rate lists of mutton, poultry, vegetables and other essential items.
The prices of the sacrificial goats and sheep were dictated by the buying power of the purchaser.
A special breed of sheep brought here from Rajasthan was marked at Rs one lakh a pair.
But, till late Tuesday afternoon, the seller had not been able to find a buyer at such an exorbitant price.
Authorities said special checking squads had been set up to keep prices under control. Despite reports of such teams moving around to impose fines on hoarders and profiteers, the impact of these checking squads was barely marginal.
Parents also thronged readymade garment shops to buy new clothes for children.
“Although everybody is eager to celebrate the Eid yet the type of jubilation seen around in the past on such an occasion is missing”, said Bashir Ahmad, a retired bank employee.
Elaborate advisories have been issued by the district magistrates in J&K to adhere to Covid protocol during the Eid festival.
Police are also seen requesting people not to move around without wearing masks.
Shoppers in majority of places where they were lined up for bakery or mutton did wear masks to protect themselves.
Yet, window shoppers kept the administration on tenterhooks as they moved from one market to the other without caring much for their own protection or that of others in these markets.
Authorities have set up helplines for the general public which can be contacted in emergencies.
Kashmiris usually do not miss any occasion to celebrate and the Eid festival gives them a special opportunity to do so.
Even then, it appears not every Kashmiri has enough spare cash to let his/her imagination fly on the occasion of this Eid.