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Friday, May 22, 2015

Separatists’ remembrance rally not allowed in Srinagar

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, May 21: Authorities on Thursday enforced undeclared curfew in the summer capital downtown to prevent the Kashmiri separatists from holding a remembrance rally for the Awwami Action Committee (AAC) chief Mirwaiz Maulvi Mohammad Farooq and the Peoples Conference founder-chairman Abdul Gani Lone at Eidgah Grounds.
Cleric-politician Mirwaiz Farooq was gunned down by suspected militants at his home in Nagin area, near Hazratbal, on May 21, 1990, when the paramilitary CRPF later fired upon his funeral procession, killing over 50 mourners near Islamia College in Hawal. For over three years till armed insurgency erupted in 1990, Mirwaiz was part of the ruling alliance with Dr Farooq Abdullah's National Conference and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's Congress party in Jammu and Kashmir. Two MLAs owing allegiance to Mirwaiz were in the coalition. Later, one of them, Pir Mohammad Shafi, who represented Zadibal segment, was shot dead by suspected militants.

Lone was gunned down after his address to the Mirwaiz remembrance rally in broad daylight at Eidgah on May 21, 2002. Suspected militants also left two of Lone's Police guards dead and another injured in the well planned assault. The assassins escaped as the shootout caused panic and stampede in the gathering of over 10,000 people.

Both, Mirwaiz and Lone, are buried in "Mazaar-e-Shuhada" (martyrs’ cemetery) at Eidgah. One of Lone's sons, Bilal, is his successor in the separatist alliance Hurriyat Conference while as his younger son, Sajjad, is now a Minister in Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s government with BJP’s support. Mirwaiz Farooq's only son and successor, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, is Chairman of Hurriyat Conference which was created in 1993 and split in 2003.

Fearing pro-Pakistan slogans and waving of flags, authorities did not permit the remembrance rally where a large number of the Hurriyat leaders were scheduled to deliver speeches. Some of the top separatist leaders, including heads of the Hurriyat's two factions, Mirwaiz Umar and Syed Ali Shah Geelani, were placed under "house arrest" as Police did not allow them to proceed towards Eidgah. Officials claimed there were only "restrictions in movement" in some areas of the downtown to maintain law and order.  However, blocking of all roads to downtown with Concertina wires and heavy deployment of Police and CRPF were suggestive of curfew. Police and CRPF allowed only a limited movement.

Some of the separatist leaders, besides MLA of Langet and President of Awwami Ittihad Party Engineer Rashid, were taken into custody while attempting march towards Eidgah. They were reportedly released in the evening.

Both factions of Hurriyat had called for a shutdown in the Valley. While as most of the shops, business establishments and even some education institutions remained closed, only skeletal vehicular traffic operated in Srinagar and other district headquarters. However, almost all the government offices and banks functioned smoothly.

A spokesman of Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat condemned enforcement of undeclared curfew and the separatist leaders' detention. He alleged in a statement that Police conducted raids on the residences of some separatist leaders even as many of them were detained and arrested at different places. He alleged that Mufti’s government had adopted the policy of detaining and silencing the separatist opposition with force.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Govt seeks High Court’s permission for judge’s appointment as PSC member

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, May 20: Attempting to clear decks for constituting the State Public Service Commission will full strength of eight members and Chairman, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s coalition government on Wednesday began the mandatory process of seeking J&K High Court’s permission for the appointment of a sitting judge as one of its members.

Informed sources revealed to State Times that the Cabinet meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, had on last Monday accorded sanction to recommending eight persons as members and an IAS officer as Chairman. However, it was decided that the names would not be disclosed until obtaining permission of Chief Justice of J&K High Court for the recommendation and appointment of Suresh Kumar Sharma, who happens to be a judicial officer of the rank of District & Sessions Judge. Mr Sharma is currently posted as Special Judge Anti-Corruption, CBI cases, in Jammu.

“But unfortunately Deputy Chief Minister disclosed the names of the BJP quota to Press. PDP had withheld the names only for the fact that one of the BJP recommendees was a sitting judge”, said a well-placed source in the government. He said that late in the evening today, Government wrote a letter, seeking the permission of Chief Justice for Mr Sharma’s appointment.

However, Law Secretary Mohammad Ashraf Mir maintained that he had no knowledge whether the letter had gone or not. “It was ready today. It must have gone in the evening or would go tomorrow morning”, he told State Times.

Bureaucrats in General Administration Department said that the Government would forward the panel of the nine names to Governor only after obtaining High Court’s no objection to Mr Sharma’s nomination. These sources said that of the previous panel, only the name of IAS officer Lateef-uz-Zaman Deva had been approved by the Cabinet for the post of Chairman while as Mushtaq Ahmad Wani, retired Principal of a Degree College in Kashmir, had been repeated for the post of a member.

From Kashmir Division, a retired Chief Engineer of R&B, Mushtaq Ahmad Lone had also been cleared by the Cabinet. Tashi Dorje, who is being recommended in the third panel, hails from Leh, Ladakh. Remaining five---retired KAS officer J.P. Singh who was originally a resident of Singhpora Baramulla (and has settled in Jammu), Posh Charak a Professor of University of Jammu who is known for her proximity to the wife of Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, BJP activist Dr Beas Dev Dogra who was reportedly a contender of the party’s ticket from Samba in last year’s Assembly elections, Asgar Ali Choudhary of Rajouri---are all from Jammu.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tral girls grab top positions in Matric

Both toppers belong to Dadsar---the Jamaat stronghold that produced the highest number of militants in Valley, and also a Major General

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, May 19: Hajira alias Haja started her career of promoting education for the have-nots five years after her husband Abdul Ahad Bhat of Awantipore, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, retired from the Government service in 1995. Named after the couple in year 2000, ‘Hajira-Ahad Public School’ grew popular in a short span of time and came to be called affectionately as ‘Haja-Ahad Public School’. Declaration of results for Matriculation (Regular annual) by Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education [BOSE] on Tuesday brought cheer and festivity to entire Awantipore-Tral belt of South Kashmir as Haja-Ahad grabbed both the top positions in an examination in which 50,535 boys and girls appeared in Kashmir province.

Sixteen-year-olds AneekaShabir and ShaheeraShamim stood the First and the Second respectively in order of merit. Out of 500 marks, Aneeka secured an incredible 494 [98.80%] and Shaheera 491 [98.20%]. Both are friends and neighbours to each other in Dadsar, the dusty village in Tral that has the ‘distinction’ of having produced the maximum number of militants---‘200 plus’, according to eminent academic JauharQuddusi who teaches Urdu literature at a government college in Pampore. “Arguably, no other village in Kashmir has produced this number of militants. More than 40---militants and civilians---killed in this village in the last 25 years lay buried here”, Quddusi revealed.

Another resident Manzoor said that some civilians and militants were killed by Army and Police in encounters, some like Jamaat functionary Ghulam Mohammad Paul were seized alive and killed in custody while as some civilians were shot dead by militants as “informants” and “suspected Indian agents”.

Dadsar was, and continues to be, a stronghold of pro-Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami, the largest contributor of human resource to the formidable guerrilla group HizbulMujahideen. Mainstream Congress and National Conference [NC] activists like bureaucrat-turned-politician Ghulam NabiNayak and Ghulam Hassan Bhat lived as an exception.

Bhat, the NC’s potential candidate for 1996 Assembly elections, survived the first ambush and his Personal Security Officers got killed as he was not in the vehicle targeted near Noorpora. Later, he was blown up in an IED blast. NC’s ex-MLA Subhan Bhat, who lived in Tral, had been gunned down in the very beginning of militancy. Subsequently, two of his sons, who planned to contest the elections, were also shot dead. Still, his third son Ghulam Nabi resigned as a government physician and was elected MLA in 2002. His fourth son Ashraf lost two elections but is still a contender for NC’s ticket.

Like the gun, education is ubiquitous in Dadsar. According to the residents, Hizb’s most prominent commander of the area Adil, who was killed in an encounter with Army last year, as well as his cousin Burhan, who currently figures as the outfit’s most wanted militant after his brother Khalid was killed in a controversial encounter last month, were graduates. Nayak, who served as Kashmir’s Divisional Commissioner before a term as MLA of Congress party, has one of his sons as Divisional Forest Officer and another, Amin Nayak, a Major General in the Indian Army. His son-in-law Dr Muzaffar retired as Director Health Services. Neighbour Mir Mohammad Kazim retired as Director of Education and his son Mir Mushtaq as Director of Food & Supplies. Another neighbour Nisar Mir is Kashmir’s first Joint Secretary in University Grants Commission. The list of post-graduates, doctors, engineers and teachers is infinite.

But both, Aneeka as well as Shaheera, are from a modest family background. “We take only those students who do not afford to arrange tuitions. Usually, they are from middle and lower middle class”, Haja-Ahad’s Principal and proprietor Imtiyaz Bhat told State Times. Shaheera’s father Shabir Ahmad Rather is a Works Supervisor in the State-owned J&K Projects Construction Corporation. Her mother Fareeda Akhtar works as Female Multipurpose Health Worker.

“Our joy knew no bounds when the results came out. I and Shaheera my friend were confident that we would be in the top 20 but neither of us imagined to be on the top First and Second”, Aneeka said in a conversation with State Times.

“I was at a hostel in Rajbagh(Srinagar) where I am preparing for CET when I got the good news. I ruturned to my school in Awantipore to participate in the celebration”. Over a thousand residents gathered to greet Imtiyaz and the two brilliant students. They were later taken in a procession to Dadsar where literally everybody turned up with enthusiasm and a sense of pride. Women showered candies, walnuts and almonds on the two girls and their proud parents.

Shaheera’s parents, Shamim Ahmad Shamim and Tasleema are both teachers. Neither of them is upset over Shaheera missing the top First by just three marks. “Aneeka is our daughter like Shaheera”, quipped a relative.

Aneeka attributed her achievement to “Allah’s benevolence, hard work, perseverance, good luck, good quality education and support and guidance from my parents”. What was she planning for the future? “I want to pursue high degrees in Medicine and work as a professor of Medicine. I want to create the best of our physicians and surgeons”, said the altruist-minded pupil.

The family of the Haja-Ahad promoters is a great success story and role models for youngsters like Aneeka and Shaheera. While Abdul Ahad Bhat held top positions in the State administration and retired as J&K’s Transport Commissioner, all of his seven sons and one daughter, Nighat, who is married to a Kashmiri aeronautical engineer and settled in United States of America, excelled in diverse fields.

Mr Bhat’s sons Mushtaq and Parvez are Executive Engineers in Prime Minister’s Gram SadakYojana and Economic Reconstruction Authority, respectively. Dr Javed and Dr Mudassar are Associate Professors in SKIMS Medical College. Dr Majid is a dental surgeon and Nodal Office of a scheme in the office of Chief Medical Officer Pulwama. Shabir is a Divisional Forest Officer in Ganderbal. B.E. in Electronics from a prestigious university in Banhalore, Imtiyaz has opted not to join any government service.

“I want to provide the best of education to the students whose parents can’t dream of admission in the elitist DPS and top Christian Missionary schools”, said the man whose achievement must have turned a many faces pale in the Capital’s upscale education business. “Last year too, we got the 5th, 11th and 20th position in Matric and a large number of Distinction grades”.


Director Health Kashmir Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman attached

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, May 19: In a dramatic development, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s government has attached Director Health Services Kashmir Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman within days of Chief Minister’s visit to District Hospital of Baramulla.

Official sources revealed to State Times that the Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister on Monday discussed briefly and accorded sanction to the proposal of Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman's removal and attachment. However, the administrative order was issued late around midnight when Commissioner-Secretary Health & Medical Education Shantmanu was on an official visit in Leh.

Shantmanu himself was replaced by Mandeep Bhandari. Cabinet did not decide about his new place of posting.

Minister for Health & Medical Education Lal Singh confirmed Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman's attachment to State Times but didn't specify reason of the director's removal. "Nothing special", Lal Singh said when asked what made the government attach a major Head of Department. Source's said that Commissioner-Secretary Health and Medical Education would hold the charge till the appointment of the new Director.

Even as the bureaucracy remained tightlipped, some of the well placed sources insisted that Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman's removal had been decided a few days back when Chief Minister was on a tour in Baramulla. According to these sources, CM as well Lok Sabha member ftom North Kashmir Muzaffar Hussain Baig were not satisfied with Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman's leadership. He was sidelined and CM alongwith Mr Baig interacted only with Chief Medical Officer Dr Bashir Ahmad Chalkoo.

Yet another official source added that Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman was known for his proxity to Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Taj Mohiuddin and Sham Lal who had played key role in his elevation from Assistant Director to incharge Deputy Director and incharge Director, all within a couple of years. Former Health Minister had provided extraordinary support to Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman when a nurse posted in Anantnag district levelled allegations of sexual harassment against the Director in 2013.

While as the accused was given a clean chit, first by Minister and later by former Health Commissioner Gazanffar Hussain, Police too dismissed the nurse's allegations as unsubstantiated and vlosed the matter as "not admitted". Thereupon, the complaints nurse also approached a court of law.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gazanffar shifted to GAD, Samoon appointed Kashmir Div Com
38 IAS, KAS, other officers shifted in Mufti Government’s 2nd administrative reshuffle
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, May 18: Over three dozen senior IAS, KAS and other officers were transferred to new places in the second major administrative reshuffle in bureaucracy and civil administration by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir in just two months. Those shifted on Monday in a Cabinet meeting include quite a number of the officers and bureaucrats who had been transferred either by Mufti’s government on March 15 or by Governor Narendra Nath Vohra on January 27 this year.

Gazanffar Hussain, who had been appointed as Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir and replaced by Shant Manu as Commissioner-Secretary Health & Medical Education on March 15, has been removed and appointed as Commissioner-Secretary General Administration Department. Even Shantmanu, and another IAS officer Ashok Parmar, who had been given new places of posting recently, have been kept waiting for another posting.
Knowledgeable sources told State Times that initially there was the proposal of appointing Baseer Khan, currently Secretary Transport, as the new Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir. However, his involvement in allotment of State land under Roshni scam and strictures by High Court compelled the Cabinet to make a replacement. Consequently, the best-connected bureaucrat and Commissioner-Secretary Agriculture Production Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, who in the past has served as DC of Srinagar and Anantnag, was picked up as the new Divisional Commissioner for Kashmir.
Raj Kumar Goyal, under orders of repatriation from the Government of India, has been posted as Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department, relieving Mr. B.R. Sharma, of the additional charge of the post. Navin Kumar Choudhary, another IAS officer got repatriated from the Central deputation within a year, has been posted as Commissioner-Secretary to the Government, Finance Department, relieving Mr. B.B. Vyas of the additional charge. Choudhary was currently Joint Secretary in union Ministry of Defence. Both have served as Principal Secretary to Governor.
Third IAS officer got repatriated from the Central deputation, Dheeraj Gupta, has been posted as Commissioner-Secretary to the Government, Relief and Rehabilitation Department. He shall also be the Chief Executive Officer, Project Monitoring Unit of the World Bank Project.
In a significant development, Deputy Commissioner of Poonch Mohammad Hussain Malik has been transferred and posted as Secretary to Chief Minister. Young IAS officer Mohammad Aijaz, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Khansahib, has been transferred and posted as Deputy Secretary in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.
While as Transport Commissioner Dilshad Khan has been removed to the insignificant posting of Commissioner Enquiry in the wake of massive allegations of corruption in her office and offices of all RTOs and ARTOs in J&K, Director-General of Fire & Emergency Services Dr. G.A. Bhat has been transferred and posted as Secretary (Technical) in the Home Department, vice R.S. Sodhi. Sodhi will be the new DG Fire and Emergency Services. 

Hirdesh Kumar, awaiting orders of posting, has been posted as Secretary Technical Education, Youth Services and Sports Department, vice Khurshid Ahmad Shah. He shall also be the Administrative Secretary, Information Technology Department. 

Mohammad Ashraf Bukhari, Commissioner-Secretary GAD has been transferred and posted as Commissioner-Secretary Agriculture Production vice Asgar Samoon.

Vineeta Gupta, Secretary Cooperatives has been transferred and posted as Officer on Special Duty in GAD.

Satesh Nehru, Secretary Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department, has been transferred and posted as Secretary Animal & Sheep Husbandry vice Ashok Kumar Parmar. Nehru shall also be Secretary, Science & Technology.

Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, under orders of transfer as Secretary to the Government, Relief and Rehabilitation Department, with additional charge of the post of Chief Executive Officer, Project Monitoring Unit of the World Bank Project, has been transferred and posted as Secretary Health and Medical Education vice Shantmanu.

Nirmal Sharma, Excise Commissioner, has been transferred and posted as Director, J&K Institute of Management, Public Administration and Rural Development, relieving Mohammad Ashraf Bukhari of the additional charge.

Khurshid Ahmad Shah, Secretary Technical Education, Youth Services and Sports has been transferred and posted as Secretary Rural Development and Panchayati Raj vice Mr. Shafaat Noor Barlas who is retiring on May 31.

Saurabh Bhagat, Secretary Information Technology and Science & Technology, has been transferred and posted as Secretary Consumer Affairs& Public Distribution and Tribal Affairs Department.

Hilal Ahmad Parray, Director, Urban Local Bodies, Kashmir, has been transferred and posted as Secretary Cooperative vice Vineeta Gupta.

Tsering Angchok, Director Handlooms has been transferred and posted as Excise Commissioner vice Nirmal Sharma.

Ajeet Kumar Sahu Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, has been transferred and his services have been placed at the disposal of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board for his appointment as Chief Executive Officer, SMVDSB, vice Mandeep Kumar Bhandari.

Salma Hamid, Additional Commissioner Kashmir, has been transferred and posted as Vice-Chairperson, Srinagar Development Authority Mohammad Saleem Shishgar.

Yasha Mudgal, Deputy Commissioner, Udhampur, has been transferred and posted as Director, School Education, Jammu, vice Simrandeep Singh, who has been appointed as DC Jammu in place of AK Sahu.

Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, has been transferred and posted as Deputy Commissioner, Udhampur, vice Yasha Mudgal.

Parvez Iqbal Khateeb, Director, Technical Education has been replaced by Showkat Ahmad Zargar and appointed as Transport Commissioner vice  Dilshad Khan.

Ali Raza, under orders of transfer as Project Director, DRDA, Kargil, has been transferred and posted as Secretary in the Tribal Affairs Department.

Jahangir Mir, Special Secretary Social Welfare Department, has been transferred and posted as Director General, Youth Services and Sports, vice Navin Kumar Aggarwal, who shall report to the Home department for further orders.

Mohammad Saleem Shishgar, Vice-Chairman, Srinagar Development Authority, has been transferred and posted as Special Secretary Social Welfare Department.

Ajay Singh Jamwal, Additional District Development Commissioner, Udhampur, has been transferred and posted as Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, vice Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.

Ghulam Nabi Balwan, Director, Rural Development, Jammu, has been transferred and posted as Secretary, J&K State Information Commission, vice Manohar Lal Raina.

Gazanffer Ali, Director, Social Welfare, Kashmir, has been transferred and posted as Director, Handicrafts, J&K, against an available vacancy.

Hashmat Ali Yatoo, Additional District Development Commissioner, Anantnag, has been transferred and posted as Director, Social Welfare, Kashmir, vice  Gazanffer Ali Mir.

Rajesh Sharma, Regional Director, Survey and Land Records (ex-officio Settlement Officer), Udhampur, has been transferred and posted as Director, Handlooms, J&K, vice Tsering Angchok.

Mohammad Harun Malik, Regional Director, Survey and Land Records (ex-officio Settlement Officer), Srinagar, has been transferred and posted as Director, Agriculture, Kashmir.

Nisar Ahmad Wani, Special Secretary to the Government, Public Works (R&B) Department, has been transferred and posted as Deputy Commissioner, Poonch, vice Mohammad Hussain Malik.

Manohar Lal Raina, Secretary, J&K State Information Commission, has been transferred and posted as Director, Rural Development, Jammu, vice Ghulam Nabi Balwan.


Mufti makes son cinematographer, wants Salman to shoot in Kashmir, but doesn’t restore cinema

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, May  17: In the midst of his shooting for Kabir Khan's 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' at Sonmarg on Sunday, Bollywood icon Salman Khan expressed his anguish over the fact that successive governments in Jammu and Kashmir had not made even a single theatre operational in the strife-torn Kashmir valley in the last 25 years.
Convicted by a trial court with five years of imprisonment in an alleged matter of rash and negligent driving but released on bail by High Court, Salman has returned to the Valley last week to complete his shooting schedules. After extensive filming in Pahalgam and other areas of Anantnag district, Salman has been busy with acting on the snowcapped Zoji La and the world famous tourist resort of Sonmarg on Srinagar-Leh Highway.

Salman, who has millions of his enthusiastic fans in J&K like other Indian States, said that he was "surprised" over the fact that not one of the theatres had resumed screening of films in Kashmir. He said it was surprising that the Kashmiris had been watching Bollywood films only through pirated DVDs on their laptops and computers. According to the top actor, it was "unfortunate" that the people of Kashmir had no access to 70 mm screens and multiplexes for entertainment.

All praise for the love and hospitality he enjoyed during his 40 days of shooting in Kashmir, Salman said he would like the Kashmiris to enjoy Bajrangi Bhaijaan on the big screen. The film is scheduled fir all-India release around Eid-ul-Fitr, two months from now. He said he was excited over the way his Kashmiri fans, including a poor elderly woman, had prayed for his bail.

Flanked by director Kabir Khan, Salman said Kashmir would be his first preference whenever he would need picturesque landscape in his films. He said he had his roots in Jammu and Kashmir as his maternal grand father hailed from Jammu region of the state.

Kabir Khan said he enjoyed shooting in Kashmir. He said that he would like to focus on Kashmir in his upcoming movies as well. "There is lot more that needs to be done so that Bollywood would make Kashmir its prime destination", Kabir said and emphasised on better Internet connectivity and road communication.

All the 15 theatres in Kashmir were closed down by the operators in the wake of threats from two militant outfits Hizbullah and Allah Tigers besides a sustained campaign by Asiya Andrabi's Dukhtaraan-e-Millat on December 31, 1989. Later, Farooq Abdullah's government reopened Broadway, Neelam and Regal cinemas in 1997-2000. However, Regal was shut within a day after one person died and over a dizen cine-goers were injured in a grenade attack. Subsequently both Neelam and Broadway too shut business in the wake of militant threats.

Claiming to be a supporter of Bollywood’s shooting films in Kashmir, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was recently in Mumbai to woo eminent producers, directors and actors to resume business in the Valley. In the pre-militancy halcyon days, Kashmir used to be a great attraction for Bollywood. Hundreds of the top popular films had been shot in the Valley.

From Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s “Mission Kashmir”, in which Preity Zinta played a lead role to Kabir Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijan, over 30 films were shot in Kashmir during last 20 years. Vishal Bhardwaj’s “Haider” was almost entirely filmed in the Valley.

Interestingly, Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed’s only son Tassaduq has chosen film as his career after he obtained a degree in cinematography from an American school. He worked as cinematographer in Bhardwaj’s “Omkara” which was shot in different Indian States but not in Kashmir.

Most of the people associated with film and television productions in Kashmir believe that head of the PDP-BJP government, Mufti would never like to offend militants and separatists by restoring cinema as it had become an indicator of turmoil.

“Screening films and opening cinema could be seen as an end to militancy and return of peace. A CM like Mufti can’t be expected to give an affront to the separatists and their masters in Pakistan”, an eminent producer told State Times. “He just wants them shoot, not to screen their films”. The producer pointed out that all the “pro-separatist intellectuals”, including the man who later worked as co-writer of Bhardwaj’s “Haider”, had joined hands to sabotage the organisers’ plan of holding a literary festival in Kashmir. “They invariably contended that it could be interpreted as an indicator of normality”, he added.