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‘Best Eid’: Two lakh sacrificial animals sold in Kashmir; mutton dealers say highest sale since 2019

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File photo: KM/Umar Ganie


Srinagar: More than two lakh sacrificial animals were sold in Kashmir on Eid-ul-Adha.

This is for the first time in two years that animal sales have picked up in Kashmir

 

Mutton dealers say this was the ‘best Eid’ ever since the abrogation of Article 370 in August, 2019 even as they maintained that the sale was still ‘60 per cent of normal’.

“We can say this year was the best Eid since 2019 as far as sale of sacrificial animals is concerned. The sales this year were around two lakh animals. Last year, we had sold less than 1.5 lakh sacrificial animals and in 2019, we sold just over 50,000. Before 2019, we would sell around 3.5 to 4 lakh animals and this time we managed to sell around 60 per cent of normal,” All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association (AKWMDA) president Mehraj-u-din Ganai told The Kashmir Monitor.

He said sales would have been much better but mandis outside had stopped supply a few days before Eid.

“There used to be a supply of sheep and goats till the day of ‘Arafah’ but the same stopped 4-5 days before Eid. Yes, sale here was going on till Eid but that stock was already available here. Outside mandis had stopped sales by then. On top of that, rain for two days on Eid eve too played spoilsport that deterred some people from buying sacrificial animals. Nevertheless, the sale was much better in comparison to the last two years,” he said.

Even though the government had passed directions for sale of sacrificial animals at ‘designated spots’ only in view of COVID safety protocols, several dealers were found selling sheep and goats on roadsides ahead of Eid-ul-Adha festival that had begun on July 21. The festival is celebrated for three days in the Valley.

Kashmir Trade Alliance (KTA) president Aijaz Shahdhar said buzz had returned to the markets for the first time on Eid since 2019, but maintained that sales were on the lower side.

“For the first time after 2019, there was a buzz in markets for Eid shopping. However, shopping was mostly confined to essentials and bakery products only. Overall, the sales were depressed as people by and large have no purchasing power. Also, as compared to the last two years, more people offered the sacrifice of animals this year but not like 2018 or before. Last year, there was a larger threat of Covid and all businesses were badly hit in the wake of abrogation of Article 370,” Shahdhar told The Kashmir Monitor.