MUMBAI

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Shammi Kapoor’s death was felt in Kashmir as well. Not because he was supposed to be in the valley next month in the same hotel where he shot his most remembered film, Kashmir Ki Kali,
but because he remained a brand ambassador of Kashmir for most of his life. Unlike Anna Hazare, Kashmir has a good number of ‘yahoo boy’ fans. He had a vast friend circle here that comprised of hoteliers, shikara-walas, houseboat men and tour operators. At one point of time he was the most famous actor and a big spendthrift. Most of his films have partly or fully been shot in Kashmir, especially before the onset of militancy.

HIGH COURT
In May activist and author Gautam Navlakha was detained at Srinagar airport, kept in police station for the night, and sent back next morning because the DC Budgam termed him a “threat” to law and order. Navlakha has now approached the high court seeking “compensation and exemplary damages”, besides withdrawing the restrictions on his movement. The court has sought records and issued notices to the government. Wait and watch.

DELHI
Koel Purie Rinchet, the host of “On the Couch with Koel” on Headline Today, last week hosted Dr Farooq Abdullah on her show. After the interview she wrote in her blog, The Flirtatious, Flamboyant Farooq: “He (Farooq) calls me a beautiful woman, wants to be stuck in a lift for hours with me and can’t reveal what he’s dreaming of doing right now as it’s the holy month of Ramzan”. She goes on: “My heart almost reaches out to this seemingly mirthful majestic minister when he bemoans like a child that he has to crush and stamp out some of his greatest desires for the sake of propriety. Then he proceeds to flirt, sing, lambast Narender Modi, warn Pakistan and tell me about the girlfriends he wished he had…”

DARDPORA
Filmmaker and activist Ashoke Pandit is planning to upgrade his documentary, ‘village of widows’, based on Dardpora (Kupwara), into a feature film. Apart from ‘village of widows’, of his works for the last many years, two are Kashmir specific – “And the World Remained Silent” and “Sheen”, both on the migration of KPs. He plans to get actresses like Shabana Azmi to fly to Dardpora to share screen space with the real widows who will be put through rigorous workshops to “play” militants’ widows. Vinta Nanda is expected to script the film.

SRINAGAR
Barring a curt denial, state police chief Kuldeep Khoda remained silent over the expose that Mohammad Ashraf, a surrendered militant whom he employed as an SPO and enjoyed his backing, was involved in killing three civilians including a father and son in 1996 in Bhaderwah. The story exposed by Indian Express after 15 years suggested Bachan Singh Choudhary, an ASP (now retired) investigated the case and indicted the then DIG Khoda. He was shifted out of Crime Branch to pave way for a new investigation that talked of discrepancies and closure of the triple murder. Khoda says it was a case of a “source taking police for a ride to settle his personal scores and killing the civilians”.


NIGEEN

After a long time, the moderate peacenik Mirwaiz Umer Farooq had a big tool to communicate with the listeners that Big FM 92.7 offered. It was an ideal situation – Radio Jockey Haya would lead the FM team that would religiously go to cleric’s Nigeen mansion, pose questions about routine daily issues, and record answers. For three hours, this interview would splash over FM’s Big Noon Chai capsule. Thirteen days later, it was abruptly taken off air. Mirwaiz blamed the government for eroding “our religious rights and identity”. Chief Minister denied the allegation. But the show is over. Mirwaiz, however, credits the “boys and girls” at the FM for “the good job”, who had packaged the programme under the banner: ‘Is Ramadan Mein Suniye Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Ko.’

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A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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