J&K govt to decide on giving nod to parallel concert today

FrontA security personnel at Dal Lake ahead of Zubin Mehta’s concert Thursday. PTI

The J&K government will take decision Friday on allowing a music concert parallel to Zubin Mehta's performance in Srinagar on September 7. Organiser of the "Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir" concert, Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, has announced that it will hold the programme even if the government denies permission.

The group has sought permission from the Srinagar district administration to hold the event. The district administration has passed it on to the security agencies for approval. Sources in the government say top officials are divided and undecided whether to allow the parallel concert or not.

"As of yet we have not decided about the permission," Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Shalindera Kumar told The Indian Express. "The Deputy Commissioner has written to the organisers seeking more inputs. Once we receive the inputs, the administration and police will meet and decide about the permission".

However, Khurram Parvez, convenor of the civil society group, has said, "The government is yet to respond to our request for permission. Nobody has contacted us. We are expecting around 10,000 - 20,000 people to attend the concert."

The group has also invited German ambassador Michael Steiner to the concert. Steiner said he has no hesitation in the attending the programme.

Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir is both an act of resistance and celebration.The German ambassador's interest and possible attendance at the event, for which he has alrready been invited, does not alter the protest in any way," he said in a statement.

J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had earlier said he has no problem in allowing the concert as long as it is peaceful.

Visas not issued, band delays UK trip



A Kashmiri singing troupe who was to perform in London on September 7, the day Zubin Mehta will be performing in Srinagar, has been forced to delay the trip as the British embassy is yet to issue visa to four of its six-members.

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