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KU bans screening of ‘Ocean of Tears’
SRINAGAR, Dec 15: The University of Kashmir today banned, at the last minute, the screening of ‘Ocean of Tears’, a Government of India sponsored documentary, showcasing the violence against women in Kashmir.

The move annoyed the audience who lodged a strong protest against the state and authorities, and in favour of the ongoing struggle.

The documentary, financed by the Information and Broadcast Ministry-supported Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), was due to be screened in the Convocation Complex of the varsity at 3 PM. A number of people, including varsity’s students and faculty members, were waiting outside the complex for the screening to begin.

But, instead, the filmmaker, Bilal Jan, and his team arrived with the dismaying diktat from authorities.

“We just had a meeting with the University’s authorities in presence of police. They told us that they cannot allow the film to be screened here,” a visibly disappointed Jan told the gathering.

‘Ocean of Tears’ is the first-ever documentary on reported and unreported cases of domestic and conflict-related violence against women in Kashmir. It includes cases like mass rape at Kunanposhpora and twin rape and murder at Shopian. The excerpts of the 27 minute film have been released on popular video sharing website YouTube.

The film was financed PSBT after accepting the proposal submitted by Jan and his team.

The production team was earlier granted permission from the varsity authorities for the screening. In fact, they were charged Rs 20000 for using the Convocation Complex.

“We were given proper permission by them,” Jan told the gathering, displaying the documents and receipts given to them by the authorities. “Now at the last minute they are saying that they cannot allow the movie to be screened.”

Insiders in the production team told Kashmir Times that the authorities were coming up with excuses since morning before calling off the event.

“We were first told that there are some technical problems. Then they said some student has questioned the authenticity of the film’s script…But in the meeting they formally called off the event without giving us any reasons,” they said.

The move enraged the aspiring audience. Calling it a “show of occupation,” they started shouting pro-freedom and anti-state. The protests continued for nearly an hour in the lawn of the Convocation Complex before the protesters dispersed peacefully.

News Updated at : Sunday, December 16, 2012
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