J&K may cancel parallel concert

 Activists organising a parallel show to Zubin Mehta’s concert here on Friday accused the Jammu and Kashmir government of “creating an atmosphere” for not permitting them to hold “Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir.”

The Zubin Mehta concert named “Ehsaas-e-Kashmir” is scheduled for Saturday at Shalimar Garden here. It is being organised by the German embassy in collaboration with the Government of India and the state government.

The organisers of “Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir” are planning to hold protests in case the government did not allow them to hold the show. “So far the state authorities have not given us the permission to hold the event,” said Khuram Parvez, one of the organisers of “Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir.”

They had sought permission from the district magistrate of Srinagar for holding the show on September 7 in protest against Zubin Mehta’s concert. Quoting media reports, Khuram said the divisional commissioner has claimed that the organisers of the event have been asked to inform the government about the preparations before they take a call on granting permission.

“We have not received any letter or communication from the government in this regard. These are all lies aimed at sabotaging our event,” Khuram said.

He said they called the deputy commissioner, Srinagar, who is the authority to grant the permission, on Friday to enquire about the decision.

A civil society group member, Altaf Hussain, said they have not surrendered the will to hold the event. 

The Zubin Mehta concert is expected to see an attendance of at least 1,500 guests, mostly VIPs, where Mehta and his orchestra comprising 100 musicians will play Beethoven, Haydn and Tchaikovsky. The concert has drawn widespread opposition from the civil society groups and separatists. The German ambassador is overseeing the preparations for the show.

 Meanwhile, Mehta arrived here on Friday. Sources told Deccan Herald that he arrived in the afternoon in a special flight. He was taken to the Grand Palace Hotel.
“Mehta landed at Srinagar International Airport at 4:40 pm. He was accompanied by the Bangladesh ambassador to India and some German people,” sources said. He straightway drove to Grand Place in a BMW car. “He was escorted by a dozen of vehicles carrying security guards,” sources said.

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