Salman Khan, who during his press briefing advocated of opening cinemas in Kashmir, has been censured for his cinema advocacy by some separatist leaders.
While reacting to Bollywood star’s remarks, Dukhtaran-e-Milat (DeM) Chairperson, Syeda Asiya Andrabi said reopening of cinemas in Kashmir is a part of ‘larger cultural aggression’ being carried out in the state.
“We warn the government that in 1988, after much hard work, we succeeded in closing down cinemas in Kashmir,” she said, “and under no circumstances we will allow their reopening.”
Pertinently, nine cinemas of Srinagar were big business houses before a militant outfit ‘Allah Tigers’ and its chief, Air Marshal Noor Khan announced a ban on cinemas and liquor bars through local dailies on August 18, 1989. Cinemas ceased to function by December 1989. However, three cinemas – Regal, Khyam and Broadway were reopened in late nineties. But a grenade explosion outside Regal pushed the cinema back to closure, though some of them remained open for a while. Over the years, some cinemas were changed into hotels, some were razed to ground and most remains occupied by forces.
“We appeal all the Ulema,” Asiya said, “the pro freedom leadership to show resentment against the proposal.”
Earlier, Hurriyat (G) termed the cinema opening advocacy illogical and said the issue of opening cinemas in the land where people are crying for mitigation of sufferings merited no attention.
“The people here are denied even the facilities which are basic rights of every person,” Ayaz Akbar said.