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A Kashmir gunsmith's last stand

Storied Zaroo firearms manufacturer nears the end of the line

Nazeer Ahmad Zaroo, whose family have been making rifles in Kashmir since the middle of last century. The Zaroo Gun Factory is one of only two remaining in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

SRINAGAR -- The small dark workshop packed with lathes and milling machines adjacent to the Zaroo family home is the center of a gun manufacturing business that has been supplying the Kashmir region with rifles since 1953.

For Farooq Ahmad Zaroo, who inherited the business from his father, Ghulam, each day brings a new challenge to keep the business alive -- today's problem is getting the electricity flowing again after it was cut off the night before. Crippling power cuts are a fact of life in Indian-controlled Kashmir's biggest city.

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