Government decides to seal Zubin concert venue in Kashmir
With music maestro's Zubin Mehta's concert facing opposition from the civil society groups and local writers deciding against attending it, the government on Wednesday decided to seal the area for public transport on September 7. 'Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir is to reclaim public space, narratives'Updated: Sep 04, 2013 21:08 IST
With music maestro's Zubin Mehta's concert facing opposition from the civil society groups and local writers deciding against attending it, the government on Wednesday decided to seal the area for public transport on September 7.
The Boulevard and Foreshore road, which lead to the concert's venue at Srinagar's Mughal-era Shalimar Bagh will have no traffic movement from 1pm.
"All vehicles except those of visiting dignitaries shall be diverted. No vehicle will be allowed at Grand Lalit-Boulevard road towards SKICC," said Srinagar superintendent of police Haseeb-ur-Rehman.
The traffic police have asked the residents of Shalimar, Nishat, Harwan and its adjacent area "to travel before 1pm on the day of function". In case of emergency, the public has been asked to call police officers.
The state government is leaving nothing to chance to make the show a success in the wake of opposition from separatists and civil society groups.
"The German government proved that it bothers least about human rights violations and is more interested for economic ties with India," said hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Wednesday, while reiterating his call for shutdown on the day of concert.
"All arrangements have been finalised and necessary directions issued to its party workers and constituent units to make the protest on September 6 and 7 a success. University and college students should participate in the protest," said the Hurriyat spokesman.
Sources said security agencies were asked to check antecedents of journalists, doctors, some mainstream politicians and businessman before extending invitations in the Valley.
With civil society groups organising a rival concert, Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir, in protest to Mehta's Ehsaas-e-Kashmir on the same day in Srinagar, several well-known writers have decided not to attend the function despite an invitation.
"I am not going for the event, which is aimed at portraying Kashmir as normal. Jammu and Kashmir is in a state of mourning," said Javaid Iqbal, a leading columnist of the Valley.
Jnanpith awardee Rahman Rahi has also refused to attend the event, according to media reports. Similarly, Zareef Ahmed Zareef, known humorist, has also turned down the invitation. "The concert is nothing but a propaganda tool," he said.
Meanwhile, German ambassador Michael Steiner has expressed his willingness to attend the parallel concert. "Culture is always welcome. In case the cultural event at Municipal Park takes place, I would welcome to be invited," said Steiner, who is the chief organiser of the show.
Performers won't charge fee
Zubin Mehta is scheduled perform at Ehsaas-e-Kashmir (the feel of Kashmir) for 90 minutes where he is likely to play symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
A pre-fabricated 70 by 50 feet podium is being created on the second terrace with Mughal-era Diwan-i-Khas or Black Pavilion in the backdrop.
The line of fountains spread over 1.6 km will not work on the day of performance because the flow and its noise may distract artists.
50 BMWs will ferry 150-strong contingent of musicians and their staff who will land in Srinagar on Thursday in a chartered plane from Munich.
First Published: Sep 04, 2013 19:44 IST