Invitation cancelled: Weddings put off in strife-torn Kashmir after Wani’s death

  • Abhishek Saha, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Jul 12, 2016 18:16 IST
CRPF personnel face-off with protesters throwing stones at them in Srinagar. The killing of a militant leader has sparked clashes between protesters and security forces in which 30 people have died. (PTI)

A flurry of nervous activities that generally accompany a wedding came abruptly to an anxious halt in bride Ayaat’s home in Srinagar, a consequence of unrelenting unrest after the killing of a young, popular militant commander.

The wedding ceremony was fixed on July 20. Ayaat will marry a businessman from Kulgam district in southern Kashmir, which had recorded the most number of clashes after security forces shot dead Hizbul Mujahedeen commander Burhan Wani on Friday.

Ayaat’s family has not been able to contact the groom or his relatives as mobile phone service is suspended in southern Kashmir.

Read: 30 dead, 1,300 injured in Kashmir violence, PM appeals to maintain calm

Her wedding stands postponed now. “It’s not possible … everything stands disrupted,” a family member said on Tuesday, underlining the tense situation in the curfew-bound Kashmir Valley.

Hundreds of post-Eid weddings, feasts and other invitations have been either postponed or cancelled.

The wedding season in Kashmir is generally restricted to the May to October summer months.

Ads in a newspaper called Greater Kashmir announce weddings that have been cancelled or postponed. (Waseem Andrabi/ HT photo)

In the past two days, most Kashmiri newspapers were flush with classified advertisements, announcing the cancellation of wedding invitations or informing that the ceremony will be a “simple” affair.

“Due to prevailing turmoil, the invitation of marriage ceremony of grandson of SA Rehman scheduled on 14th and 15th of July, 2016, stands cancelled. However, marriage will be solemnised in a simple manner …. inshallah,” reads one of the 26 such announcements in Kashmir’s leading English daily, Greater Kashmir, on Tuesday.

The Rehmans have cancelled only the feast, but others have postponed the wedding.

“My niece’s wedding was planned for July 15-16. But now, considering the security situation in the Valley, it has been postponed,” Mushtaq Ahmad, the uncle of a bride, said.

Such cancellations happened in 2010, too, when violence erupted in the Valley and during the devastating floods in 2014, old-timers said.

Read: Staring in the dark: Silent struggle of Kashmir’s young pellet victims

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