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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Govt in limbo over civil society’s protest concert

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Srinagar, September 05, 2013
First Published: 23:38 IST(5/9/2013) | Last Updated: 23:40 IST(5/9/2013)

The fate of “Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir” — the civil society’s parallel concert in protest against Zubin Mehta’s concert — hangs in balance. The administration is yet to give its permission for it and despite the acrimony, what could have been a duet on September 7, looks likely to be a solo.

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The organisers, who are on tenterhooks, claim it would entirely be chief minister Omar Abdullah’s fault if permission for the concert is denied.

“The chief minister made it clear a few days ago that he has no problem with the concert. He cannot fool the people now by saying the local administration has to take a final decision,” said Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir spokesperson Khurram Pervez on Thursday.

Mehta is scheduled to hold his concert at Shalimar Garden. The parallel concert will be held 10 km away, at Lal Chowk’s Municipal Park.

“No final decision has been taken so far. We have sought more details from organisers. We expect a reply by tomorrow, after which a final decision would be taken,” said Kashmir divisional commissioner Shailendra Kumar.

The government, he added, will also have to assess the ground situation after Friday prayers.

Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has already called for “peaceful protests” after the prayers.


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