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Locals forced to cancel weddings as security beefs up in Srinagar

A shutdown call by separatists and an order to stay indoors by the government, has forced many residents living in the Shalimar Bagh area to cancel wedding celebrations.

india Updated: Sep 06, 2013 20:41 IST
Hindustan Times

A shutdown call by separatists and an order to stay indoors by the government, has forced many residents living in the Shalimar Bagh area (venue for the concert) to cancel wedding celebrations.

As security has been beefed up in the area, advertisements in the local papers suggested the trend of cancellation. A resident of Shalimar, AH Shoura informed his guest about the cancellation through a morning newspaper.

The August September is the peak wedding season in the valley. Disappointed by this, advocate Liyaqat Mir's family, was forced to defer the wedding of his younger brother by two days.“I don’t know how to react. There is three tier security. Transport has been asked to be off the roads. How will anyone make it to our place,'' Mir said while referring to the three-tier security apparatus put in place by the state to ensure safety of around 1500 guests expected to be at the concert.

He said that they were left with no option but to postpone the wedding function which took them a year of planning.

“Our cooks are not ready to come, vegetables and meat vendors have expressed their helplessness. How will the guests come amid curfew,” he said.

“Police officials told us to defer the function by a day. We will go ahead with the Nikah schedule but will organise the feast on Monday. Let's hope everything goes smooth ,” Mir stated.

Another family which did not want to come on record decided to call off the wedding plan for the time being.

The government issued orders a few days back had asked people to `travel before 1300 pm on the day of the function''. The officials said two key roads leading to the venue--the boulevard and foreshore will be free from traffic from 1 pm.

Shalimar Bagh has been closed for visitors two days back, even the shopkeepers around the venue have been asked to shutdown the shops. ``All the shopkeepers across the garden have their shutters down.

"Security has been tightened in the Kashmir Valley, in the wake of concert by the Bavarian State Orchestra. The concert will see participation of bollywood stars, politicians, buisness tycoons. No vehicle expect for that of the dignitaries will be allowed on the roads,'' SSP Ashiq Bhukari told Hindustan Times.

The prime concern of security forces is to keep visitors safe, in the wake of calls by separatists and threat by a few lesser known militant organisation.

According to sources the event would be monitored by close circuit cameras, sharpshooters have also been deployed in the vicinity of the area.

Every vehicle is being checked and police is also carrying out surprise frisking of people at different areas.

The Dal Lake is being monitored continuously by security forces and no civilian movement is being allowed inside the lake anywhere in the radius of three km from the bank where the garden is located.

Even on the day of the function guests with special passes will be able to enter the area, after being frisked and scanned by metal detectors. The cars are to be parked around 4 kilometers from the venue.

A private plane from Germany’s Bavaria will fly to India carrying around 100 instruments and same number of players. The television rights has been given to media giants internationally and the show will be live in most Europe.

The 90 minute concert is likely have 28 sponsors and is likely to be attended by 1500 people. This includes 700 people from outside the state.

First Published: Sep 06, 2013 18:50 IST