KASHMIR VALLEY IN FREEZE; WEDDINGS CALLED OFF

Fearing widespread violence, families in the Kashmir Valley have been cancelling weddings scheduled for Monday ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on Article 35A .

Local newspapers and cable channels have been full of cancellation notices.

“We would like to inform our esteemed guests that due to the prevailing situation coupled with uncertainty, we have decided to cancel our daughter’s wedding on August 6. However, nikah will take place. God willing,” reads the notice published in the daily Greater Kashmir by Syed Liyaqat Gilani, a resident of Bagh-e-Mehta.

Late summer is the peak wedding season in the Valley ahead of the harsh winter. Valley weddings are elaborate affairs with extravagant feasts; exotic dishes are prepared for days together at the homes of the bride and groom. “We do not intend that any guest should be harmed. I had done elaborate shopping in New Delhi to wear special clothes on my wedding. However, we have to keep it simple now,” said Sajid Ahmad, a prospective groom from Srinagar’s old city, who was scheduled to marry on Monday.

Cautioning against repeal of Article 35A, IAS topper from the 2009 batch, Shah Faisal, tweeted: “I would compare Article 35A to a marriage-deed or nikahnama. You repeal it and the relationship [with the Centre] is over. Nothing will remain to be discussed afterwards.”