Official promotion of ‘The Kashmir Files’ evokes strong sentiments in IIOJK: CCG

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The Concerned Citizens’ Group, a civil society group led by former External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, has said that the official promotion of the film ‘The Kashmir Files’ evoked strong sentiments in the Kashmir valley.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the CCG report, prepared after a visit to Kashmir, said that the movie had made the lives of not only the remaining Pandits unsafe but even mainstream politicians feared for their lives. It said that the film had been made to weaponise the suffering of Kashmiri Pandits and market their pain for possible electoral dividends.

The report said, “Civil society groups conveyed to us that the film seeks to slander, vilify and delegitimise the Valley’s majority community’s own pain and suffering of 3 decades during which period tens of thousands of youths were killed.”

According to the CCG report, the mood has worsened in the Valley since the abrogation of Article 370. The group found that the political ambience in Srinagar was much more mistrustful and tense than during its earlier visits.

It said that politicians felt the delimitation exercise had created communal division as well as anxiety by virtually pitching Jammu against Kashmir. Politicians in Kashmir, the report said, apprehended that New Delhi was trying to break the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).

The report opined that the media was under increasing pressure in Kashmir, adding there was a sense of fear amongst media practitioners. According to the report, journalists were criminalized if they questioned the police version of the events and accused of purveying fake news or working to an agenda.

It added, the coercive environment, consisted of intense surveillance, preparing background notes on all journalists (listing their names, siblings, parents, bank account details and properties owned), asking journalists to specify their political ideology and their stand on various issues, monitoring of social media activity, not renewing accreditation cards and not recognizing freelance journalists.

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