Verinag, is a small town in Islamabad, South of Kashmir. Apart from being a tourist spot, it’s also the major source of the River Jhelum. Springs or nags as Kashmiris call it, are also sites of pilgrimages for the Hindu community in Kashmir.
On the way to Verinag, lies the small village of Kapron close to the restive district of Kulgam. With its picturesque valley and a dense forest, Kapron was a busy village in the late 20th century.
Kapron had iron ore that was mined by Kashmiris to make agricultural implements. In Kashmiri, an ironsmith is called a ‘Khar’. After the Treaty of Amritsar, Kashmir was sold by the British to the Dogras. The Hindu supremacist Dogra regime suffocated Kashmiri industries with exorbitant taxation especially on Kashmiri Muslims.
One of the families that were in the business of iron, Khars or Bhats of Kapron suffered tremendous losses. They left their properties and their homeland, escaping from the tyrannical tax system.