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Friday, July 20, 2018

Parallel concert pays tribute to Shopian ‘martyrs’

Even before Mehta arrived,the mood been overshadowed by the deaths in Shopian.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar | Published: September 8, 2013 1:44:57 am

From Shalimar Gardens to the Municipal Park nearby,which was holding a concert parallel to Zubin Mehta’s,it was expected to be a Saturday of intense music in Srinagar. The cadence,however,was punctuated by bullets and blasts.

Even before Mehta arrived,the mood been overshadowed by the deaths in Shopian. Even during the concert,police fired at a car in Srinagar,wounding a civilian,while a grenade lobbed at police in Pulwama injured 12.

Saturday began with a complete shutdown and restrictions on civilian movement. The roads leading to the Municipal Park — the venue for the parallel,‘Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir (Reality of Kashmir)’ concert — were barricaded and till 4 pm,no one was being allowed to get in. This was despite the official permission to the concert,with certain riders such as it would start simultaneously with Mehta’s concert. A few hundred people managed to reach the venue even before the restrictions were put in place.

The ‘Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir’ concert began at 4.30 pm with a tribute to those killed in the Shopian violence. Dr Altaf Ahmad,a civil society activist,called it “a tribute to all the martyrs who have laid down their lives for the political emancipation of this land”. Around 800 people eventually assembled at the park.

During the concert,police fired at a car injuring a civilian barely few hundred metres away. “The car was involved in an accident with a government car and sped away,” said a traffic cop at Lal Chowk.

Among those who came was Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq,Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s three close aides and Kashmir interlocutor Radha Kumar.

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