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Plea against ‘Shikara’ filed in HC

Mumbai, Feb 4: A petition has been filed in Jammu and Kashmir High Court against Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s contentious upcoming film “Shikara: The Untold Story Of Kashmiri Pandits”, demanding a stay on the film’s release.

“Shikara” is set against the backdrop of the Kashmiri Pandits mass migration from the Kashmir Valley in late 1989 and early 1990, in the wake of insurgency. The film is scheduled to release on February 7.

 

The petitioners are Iftikhar Misgar, Majid Hyderi and Irfan Hafiz Lone, who have alleged that the film portrays untrue facts about Kashmir and Kashmiri Pandits.

“…besides showing the painful migration of Kashmiri pandits from valley, a shabby and cruel picture of local population especially Muslims has been portrayed which is not only against the actual facts and events but has also the tendency of hurting the sentiments of all Kashmiris. The trailers of the movie which are being broadcasted on television and are also available on the internet clearly point towards the biased and communal content of the movie in question,” reads the petition.

“In one of the scenes the narration of events leading towards the migration of pandits has been portrayed as follows: During the intervening night of 19th January 1990, thousands of people came on roads among whom some militants set ablaze the houses of Kashmiri pandits.

“Likewise in another scene whole of the local population especially Kashmiri Muslims have been shown chasing away the Kashmiri pandits from their homes towards the highway.

“…The said narration and depiction of events is not only concocted and far away from truth but is also communal in nature.”

“The atmosphere in whole country because of passing of controversial laws (CAA and NRC) is already polarized and emotionally charged. Further post August 5, the security agencies have with hard efforts succeeded in maintaining an element of clam in Kashmir and all such efforts may go in vain if the movie in question is allowed to be releases with the concocted and fabricated content,” reads more excerpts from the petition.

Sharing a new teaser this morning, Vidhu Vinod Chopra Films” official page tweeted: “In 1990, more than 4,00,000 Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave their home. 30 years later, their story will finally be told.”

One of the screenplay writers of the film, Rahul Pandita, recently replied to a tweet and wrote: “I am a Kashmiri Pandit who lost everything in 1990, while you were doing God knows what in Bombay. I am the writer of #shikara and I would not let anyone compromise on the Pandit story. I will not betray the memory of those who fell to the bullets of radical Islamists.”

In a separate tweet he shared: “This is what I said in my opening remarks on the day #shikara was screened in Delhi. Unlike makers of soft porn films, Kashmir and the story of what happened to the Pandits in 1990 is not a money-making venture for me. It is what I lived.”

“Shikara: The Untold Story Of Kashmiri Pandits” marks Vidhu Vinod Chopra”s comeback to Bollywood as a director for the first time since his 2007 release, “Eklavya”. Chopra introduces Aadil Khan and Sadia in the lead roles of “Shikara”.