Jammu bounces back to normalcy after Amarnath agreement

via http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/PoliticsNation/Jammu_bounces_back_to_normalcy/articleshow/3431165.cms published on September 2, 2008

JAMMU: People thronged barbers’ shops, children rushed to school and heavy traffic clogged the roads here Monday as the Jammu region bounced back to normalcy after a two-month-long spell of curfews and shutdowns over the Amarnath land row.

The longest queues were outside beauty saloons or the roadside barbers, where people waited for their turn to get a haircut. “I have been waiting for two months to get a haircut,” said Rohit Raina, a private sector employee.

Rohit stood in line for over 90 minutes as his barber in Gole Market area of Gandhi Nagar struggled to handle the surge of customers. “I opened my shop at 6 am. There is an unusual rush,” said barber Lakshmi Das.

Children could be seen rushing to school, excited at the prospect of meeting their friends after a long break. “We had almost forgotten about school,” said Neha Gupta, a Class 6 student at the Kendriya Vidyalaya in Gandhi Nagar.

People on the roads greeted each other with slogans of “Bamb Bamb Bhole”, hailing Hindu god Shiva. “Bamb Bamb Bhole” had been chanted by members of the Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti (SASS), which spearheaded the protests against the cancellation of land allotment to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

The state government had May 26 transferred a 40-hectare plot of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board but withdrew this following protests in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir valley. The revocation July 1 ignited an agitation in the Hindu majority Jammu region that lasted 61 days.

The land was restored to the shrine board Sunday morning by the government for use “exclusively” during the pilgrimage period. Residents of the walled city here continued to congratulate each other Monday for what they believed was a “victory of the people of Jammu over the forces of injustice”.

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