Kashmir: Divesting Srinagar capital status faces resistance

Fearing pandemic, Indian-administered Kashmir authorities have delayed shifting of capital from Jammu to Srinagar

Fear of the COVID-19 pandemic has led authorities in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir to delay the 148-year-old practice of moving the capital to Srinagar in summers.

The region shifts capital twice a year — from Srinagar to Jammu in winters and back to Srinagar in summers.

Although the government has said the capital will stay in the hot plains of Jammu in summers because of the pandemic, experts say, it is a precursor to the plans divesting Srinagar, its capital status and to further disempower Muslim majority region of Kashmir Valley. Srinagar in the main city of the region.

Last week the High Court in the region had also expressed reservations at the practice of shifting capitals after every six months. The court has observed that the tradition locally known as Darbar Move, entails the loss of many working days and money to the public exchequer. The court has called for documents for further hearing and judicial review of the case.

According to an order issued by the administration, the Darbar will open in Srinagar on June 15, as opposed to its scheduled opening in the first week of May.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Abdul Ahad a historian said the custom is linked to the economy, culture, and mutual tradition shared by people of the region over the past more than a century.

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