First time in the past four months Hurriyat has lifted shutdown for two days a week. Its weekly calendar, which prescribes timetables for demonstrations and the hartals has been eased on Saturday and Sunday.
In recent past, Hurriyat had come under increasing flak for continuing with uninterrupted shutdowns which had brought Kashmir to the brink of an economic collapse.
The transporters who have been off the roads since July 8 when killing of popular Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani triggered unrest in Kashmir have complained of huge losses.
And in recent days, many passenger vehicles had hit the roads in violation of the separatist calendar, increasing the pressure on the Hurriyat to review its protest schedule which it has done now, though not up to the expectation.
Shutdown will continue five days a week – albeit businesses will remain open from 4 pm to 7 am on two of these days too.
So far 95 people have been killed, several hundred blinded and over 15000 injured in the ongoing unrest whose intensity has moderated over the past two weeks. The uninterrupted shutdown has fatigued people.
Earlier, the joint Hurriyat leadership of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik in a joint statement said that people of Kashmir have won “a moral victory by refusing to yield and submit to oppression”.
“We have made it clear to India that come what may we will be masters of our destiny. The 130 days of continuous protest with wholehearted support and participation of people and offering of tremendous sacrifices has no parallel in the current world. It gives us a measure of our strength,” said the statement.