SRINAGAR, Sept 7: Celebrated conductor Zubin Mehta led the Bavarian State Orchestra in a classical music concert in Srinagar on Saturday despite objections from Kashmiri leaders.

The heavily guarded event was staged in the sprawling Mughal-era Shalimar Gardens on the banks of picturesque Dal Lake.

“Everybody on the Sub-continent will agree with me that this is where it (the concert) should be,” the Mumbai-born Mehta said, referring to the beautiful setting with the Himalayan mountains in the background.

Some 1,500 guests, including ministers and diplomats, listened raptly to strains of Beethoven, Haydn and Tchaikovsky at the concert organised by India-occupied Kashmir’s tourism department and the German embassy in New Delhi.

It went ahead despite demands by Kashmiri leaders for its cancellation on grounds it would legitimise Indian “state repression”.—AFP

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