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Marriages postponed due to unrest in the Kashmir valley
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August 05, 2008 15:13 IST
People in the Kashmir valley are postponing wedding ceremonies and avoiding lavish functions due to the economic blockade by the Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti demanding restoration of forest land to the Shrine board.

Local newspapers in Srinagar [Images] were splashed with messages cancelling invitations issued for the weddings on Tuesday. Some people are even thinking of postponing the ceremonies, hoping that the situation will improve.

"Due to unexpected blockade of the Srinagar-Jammu Highway, the invitation cards issued to our valued guests may be treated as cancelled. However, simple marriage ceremony will take place on same dates -- August 6, 7 and 8. Kindly bear with us. Inconvenience is regretted," said an advertisement published by Mohammad Maqbool Bhat of Barbarshah locality.

An advertisement next to the Bhats' in the same daily reads: Due to prevailing conditions, the invitation cards issued for the marriage ceremony of Tariq Ahmad Mir, son of Bashir Amad Mir of Nawakadal on 6th and 7th of August are hereby cancelled. Every widely-circulated newspaper of the valley has at least three to four such messages.

Kashmiris organise a grand feast, popularly known as Wazwan, during wedding ceremonies in which liberal quantities of mutton and chicken are served. An extravagant feast can use more than one tonne of mutton.

The valley is also facing shortage of mutton as SASS activists have targeted trucks and drivers carrying essential commodities to the Valley for the past 12 days. Families are thus cancelling the feasts or opting for simple marriage ceremonies.

Mohammad Ashraf, whose son and daughter are getting married on August 8 and 9, said it is not prudent to indulge in lavish feasts with bloodshed and tension in the state.Social organisations have also called for austerity in view of the difficult times.

"On the one hand, the Hindu extremists are stopping supplies to the valley while other are desperately trying to arrange mutton for Wazwans," said general secretary of the Srinagar City Senior Citizens Forum Nazir Ahmad.

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