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Money missing: Economic despair looms large as Kashmir markets reflect grim impact of COVID, 370 abrogation

Srinagar: For the last three decades, 55-year-old Noor Mohammad has been selling socks on a cart stationed right outside the gate which once led to Regal Cinema, a few hundred metres away from Lal Chowk, the city centre of Srinagar. However, the crisis that began in August last year refuses to end and for the first time ever, Noor feels he should push on the cart and do something else. “Kaem cha namath ponse kam (the business is 90% lesser),” he says, as a couple of idle auto-rickshaw drivers surround him. “I have been selling socks for 31 years now and I have never witnessed a crisis like the one I am for the last one year and ten days,” he says, adding, “People are hesitant to buy even a pair of socks, money has dried up everywhere.” Close to where Noor’s cart is, Bashir Ahmad Wani sits alone in his...