Nothing could cheer up children in the Kashmir Valley this Id-ul-Azha.
Zuhaib Mir, 10, is among hundreds of his age group who fetched no Idhi, greeting money relatives give to youngsters, and no new kurtas, worn for special prayers on the occasion.
Meanwhile, a local channel, Gulistan TV, ran special videos of Kashmiris living outside all day, where relatives reached out with Id greetings.
Living in a lane barricaded by spools of concertina wires in the old city’s Nowhatta area, Mir’s father Niyaz Ahmad, an engineer by profession, said his son’s queries left him struggling for words.
“My son asked me ‘why can’t I wear a new kurta this year? Why my aunts living in the uptown and the uncle from Buchpora failed to visit us? Who will give me Idhi this year?’ I had no replies,” said Ahmad.
Mr. Ahmad said it’s for the first time since 1990 his family decided not to perform ceremonial animal sacrifice. “As per Islam, the animal need to be distributed equally. It was impossible given the restrictions. Even butcher was a task to trace,” said Mr. Ahmad.
Meanwhile, a channel, functioning from Punjab, Gulistan TV, became one main medium for disconnected families to greet on Id. Many messages send across from outside the Valley and beamed on local cable were emotional, with relatives breaking down.
“My son and daughter-in-law were able to get their video aired on the channel. We are relieved that they cancelled their plans to visit home on Id. They would have got stuck,” said Nazneed Jan, a resident of Buchpora.
‘Curbs will ease after Aug. 15’
Meanwhile, J&K government spokesman Rohit Kansal said security restrictions would be relaxed further after the Independence Day.
“We plan to celebrate I-Day in all districts in J&K with befitting and respectful manner. Thereafter, restrictions will be eased further,” said Mr. Kansal.
The communication lines, including the internet and mobile telephony, remained cut off for ninth consecutive day on Tuesday.