SRINAGAR (AFP) - For much of the summer, Srinagar has been a ghost town: all shops shut, streets deserted, and eerily silent. Until the curfew is lifted for just a few hours. Stalls selling fruit spring up on every corner, noisy traffic jams fill the lanes, and residents rush out to buy fresh food, medicines and toys for their children. Srinagar is the summer capital of Occupied Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region that has endured more than three months of deadly clashes between security forces and protesters who want the held valley to be independent from India. To thwart public unrest authorities impose curfews that can last for several days at a time. Anyone caught outside risks being beaten or shot by Indian paramilitary troops and police. Srinagars one million residents can still be found down back alleys, where men lean in doorways arguing about politics, while their families watch endless television or play cards inside. Its miserable because we are living under military occupation, said Arif Jan, 40, a shopkeeper in Nowhatta district near the towns biggest mosque. My family stocks up on rice and lentils when we can. That is how we live. For Shaukat Ahmed, the curfew meant he could only get to his wedding with a special permit and a police escort. Sitting nervously in the back of a red Maruti hatchback decked out in plastic flowers, Ahmed was driven at high speed through the empty town in the middle of the afternoon to meet his bride. The curfew means my sisters cant even make it to my wedding, Ahmed, a 28-year-old shawl-maker, said. I am worried about my relatives at home and want to get the marriage ceremony over so I can return to them. Shops selling wedding decorations are among the first to open their doors when curfew restrictions are briefly lifted, but business is grim. I have waited 10 days for this place to open so I can buy pieces for my brothers costume, said Ali Wangnoo, 23. But I dont actually know whether his wedding is going to happen. Kashmir is a mess. Mohammed Yunus, the shop owner, said he had been closed for three weeks until Tuesday when the curfew was relaxed for just four hours. Such conditions for ordinary people mean the tourism industry has also been decimated. With schools shut for months and hospitals running short of supplies, the price of living under the curfew is high. But few Kashmiris doubt their cause. We know what we want, said Sajjad, who runs a convenience store in the old town. In the cause of Azadi (freedom) we choose to face the bullets, and we give up the chance of living an easy life.