SRINAGAR

AFP

Indian troops stepped up security in disputed Kashmir's main city of Srinagar on Saturday, ahead of a concert to be held later in the day by celebrated conductor Zubin Mehta.

Organisers said the concert would go ahead despite demands by Held Kashmiris for the event to be cancelled on grounds it would allegedly legitimise Indian "state repression" in the restive region.

The concert by Mumbai-born Mehta, organised by the Held Kashmir state tourism department and the German embassy in New Delhi, is expected draw 1,500 invited guests, including ministers and diplomats.

"As many as 25 (security) checkpoints have been erected in the city," a Kashmir state government official told AFP on condition of anonymity. "This is a part of security measures so that law and order is maintained" during the concert by Mehta, the official said. Mehta, 77, a former director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, will conduct the Bavarian State Orchestra in works by Beethoven, Haydn and Tchaikovsky.