The Kashmir Valley enjoyed its first normal, peaceful day since Eid three weeks ago as the government and hard line Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani both blinked.
Geelani amended his protest calendar to let people enjoy a normal day and the government responded by relaxing curfew.
Lal Chowk, Srinagar’s commercial hub, was choked with bumper-to-bumper traffic after months; there were long queues outside ATMs; and corporate offices, petrol pumps, shops and other commercial establishments buzzed with activity.
Many private schools were also open — despite it being a holiday — to issue exam dates and assignments to students.
Local dailies, which had suspended printing following the seizure of English and Urdu papers by the police, were also freely available following an assurance from Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that the incident would be investigated.
Normalcy could not be restored for the last three weeks, as the government would impose a curfew even on days when no protests were planned. The separatists, on their part, would ask people to observe shutdowns on days when the authorities would ask people to open offices and schools.
“There have been no reports of any untoward incident,” a police spokesman said.