The streets of Lal Chowk covered with wilted Chinar leaves crackle under the feet of soldier’s heavy boots. The cold wind gushes through the deserted streets touching, on its way, the ‘forbidden’ Ghanta Ghar (Clock tower). It is one day prior to the ‘Lal Chowk rally’ scheduled for October 6 and
The base of the historic Clock tower is coiled around by rusted barb wires and the broken glass frames at the top lean out from the tower. Every road leading to the clock tower is barred- by red traffic cones, by white iron barricades and hundreds of AK- 47 wielding soldiers.
Lal Chowk or the ‘Red Square’ has a place in the history of Kashmir and more importantly in the political changes in
After the recent wave of mass protests in
The call for ‘Lal Chowk Chalo’ was revisited by the separatists keeping it after the month of Ramadan and Eid. This time as well, the state machinery came down heavily imposing curfew in the entire valley one day prior to the day of the march. Lal Chowk is again surrounded by armored vehicles and the Clock Tower is out of bounds.
The roads are silent except for the snarling wind and raucous laughter. And there are voices of distant screeching tyres, piercing shouts, mellowed voices and of reverse gears.