After extensive deliberations on Friday, authorities permitted a conglomerate of civil society groups to hold Haqeeqat-e-Kashmir (HeK), an exposition of art and music, at Sher-e-Kashmir Park.
This event is meant to counter “Zubin Mehta’s state-sponsored show” which is how the HeK organisers describe the Western classical maestro’s Ehsaas-e-Kashmir to be held at Shalimar Bagh under the auspices of the German embassy.
“We have given them permission but laid down certain conditions to ensure that there is no disruption of law and order,” Srinagar Deputy Commissioner Farooq Shah told The Hindu.
According to him, Order No: DMS/Judicial/Misc/1424-30/2013 dated 6-9-2013, would make it binding on the organisers to ensure that there was “no procession, no chanting of anti-social or anti-national slogans and no attempt or action to hurt the sentiments of any religious group.”
The District Magistrate clarified that the permission had been issued strictly “for a show within the confines of Sher-e-Kashmir Park, to be held from 4.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.”
The organisers have been asked not to violate Section 144 of the Cr.PC which is already in force.
Sources revealed that the decision to allow the parallel concert was taken after Divisional Commissioner Shalender Kumar met Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. This correspondent found the venue of the separatists-sponsored show deserted. There was no civilian or police presence. Missing were banners, buntings and specially laid concertina wires — a common visual feature at such places.
Earlier, HeK spokesman Khurram Parvez had told journalists that the show would be held even if the authorities did not give permission.
He said 3,000 Kashmiris would participate in the exhibition which would have paintings, photographs, poetry and music, both in Kashmiri and English.