Jammu and Kashmir, the only Muslim-majority state of the country, on Friday witnessed rush in markets and food stalls despite wet weather with Eid-ul-Fitr likely to fall on Saturday as Ramzan, the month of fasting during which people hold special prayers, culminates.
Hundreds of devotees attended congregational prayers, especially at Jamia Masjid and Hazratbal shrine, on the last Friday of Ramzan. Special prayers were said in mosques where people desired an end to the uncertain political situation in Kashmir.
Srinagar city was abuzz since morning as people thronged bakery, meat and poultry shops. "Traditionally, new clothes are bought. We have a tradition of preparing a number of mutton and chicken dishes. Besides, bakery items are essential to greet visiting relatives and friends," said Nazima Khan, a student of sociology.
To allow hassle-free movement of shoppers at Srinagar's main commercial hub of Lal Chowk, the administration regulated and diverted public transport.
Governor NN Vohra and chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed greeted people on the last Friday of Ramzan and upcoming Eid.
"This day provides us an opportunity to seek Allah's blessings and express gratitude for compassion and kindness showered by Him on mankind," said Sayeed in his message.
Director general of police K Rajendra, in his greetings, said, "The festival reminds us to share our joys with the destitute and deserving."
Leaders of the People's Democratic Party, Congress and National Conference extended Eid greetings to people. The United Jehad Council and separatist groups also extended greetings and asked people to remember those "who sacrificed their lives".
Meanwhile, hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani has called for half-an-hour protester after Eid prayers. Eid is subject to sighting of the moon. While many Muslim counties like Saudi Arabia are celebrating Eid on Friday, there is likelihood that the crescent may be seen by evening. The final announcement about Eid will be done by the evening after head priests confirm sighting of the Eid crescent.