Old city is slowly limping back to normality after a long tensed month and a spate of disturbances. People here had apprehended large scale violence on the eve of the Babri Masjid demolition anniversary following the Bhagyalaxmi temple controversy.
Bazaar open on Sunday
However, they heaved a sigh of relief as the day and its subsequent Friday passed off peacefully. Tension was brewing in this part of the city since the Bakrid time but things now appear to be settling down.
Shoppers were, as usual, in full flow at the markets around Charminar after a long time. Most of the shops in the Lad Bazaar were open on Sunday, a change from the traditional practice of observing it a holiday.
A good number of visitors were also seen at the Charminar monument and the Mecca Masjid. It was no different scene at the Chowmahalla Palace and the Salarjung Museum too.
“People, especially those from other parts of the city were avoiding the area in the last one month after trouble started over the temple issue. But the situation is now trickling back to normal,” says Syed Suleiman, a bangle shop owner at Lad Bazaar.
Business was affected to a great extent due to disturbances and more so due to frequent rumours. “The market had suffered a great setback due to the disturbances. Nevertheless, customers have started coming now,” a trader informs.
Function halls too are back to their buzzing activity. The trouble over, guests are now seen spending considerable time here. “A week ago people used to wind up the functions by midnight, but now it is back to the old practice of dragging it till 2 a.m.,” says Ghulam Rabbani, manager of a function hall at Engine Bowli.
The police announcement to lift restrictions around the Mecca Masjid from next Friday has also brought in a great relief to the people. The regular disturbances were widely attributed to the restrictions but police did not want to take chances as they had specific inputs of trouble.
On the other hand the police say they will maintain a tight vigil for the next few weeks. “We are permitting the shops to be open till 10 p.m. as earlier. However, there will be no let up in regular patrolling and vehicle checking,” police say.