Rs 120cr withdrew by ATM in Kashmir before Eid

Srinagar: Ahead of Muslim festival Eid-ul-Azha, more than two lakh people withdrew over Rs 120 crore from the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across Kashmir Valley in the last three days.

A bank official here said more than Rs 120 crore were withdrawn from the ATMs since Friday as shoppers thronged markets to buy food and sweets for the festival which will be celebrated tomorrow.

"This morning, more than Rs 13 crore have been withdrawn and 36,000 transactions have been recorded," the bank official said. The festive mood has engulfed the Valley for the past few days as people flocked to bakeries and confectioneries which are quickly running out of stock.

Eid-ul-Azha or the festival of sacrifice is celebrated by Muslims across the world to commemorate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of obedience to God, according to Islamic scriptures.

The festival is celebrated annually on the 10th day of Zil-Hajj, the last month of the lunar Islamic calendar, which this year falls tomorrow. In the summer capital, shoppers thronged commercial areas of Lal Chowk, Residency Road and Karan Nagar to buy essentials for the festival as passengers buses were diverted to avoid traffic jams.

The state government has formed special market checking squads to ensure availability of essential supplies to the consumers on fixed rates on the eve of the festival. In north Kashmir`s Kupwara district, market checking squads destroyed rotten food and imposed fines totalling Rs 15,550 on vendors found violating the rules, an official spokesman said.

The Animal Husbandry Department also set up seven sale booths in Srinagar city and 41 points were established in other districts for the sale of chicken. Director Animal Husbandry F A Kaloo said nearly 17 lakh poultry birds grown in local farms have been pumped into the market to meet the growing demand for the festival. Thousands of sheep and goat and a few camels have also been bought by the people for the ritual of sacrifice during the festival.