Screening of film on Valley violence stalled in Kashmir University

A documentary depicting violence against women in the restive valley was stopped from being screened at the University of Kashmir on Saturday despite being cleared by the censor board.

The authorities, who seemed to fear trouble, forced the cancellation of Ocean of Tears just an hour before it was to hit the screen in the University Convocation Complex.  Sponsored by Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), the 27-minute film dealt with eye opening and spine chilling facts about crimes against women in Kashmir valley.

“The film reveals victims’ experiences in the struggle against all forms of violence inflicted on them. It showcases how they learn to deal with their past and the coming year of further battle against the power structures”, said Bilal Jan, director of Ocean of Tears.

The film has focused on controversial subjects including the alleged mass rape of over two dozen women of Kunan Poshpora village allegedly by the troops, during the intervening night of February 23 and 24, 1991. Interviews with the victims encapsulates the horror of that night and the subsequent stigma that the girls had to undergo.

The last moment cancellation created a flutter among the audience. “They gave foolish reasons for the cancellation. I had booked the Convocation Complex and even paid Rs20,000. There were hundreds of people who had come from far flung areas to watch the screening”, said Jan. Registrar of Kashmir University Zafar Reshi said two people are laying claims to the same piece of work, which Jan rubbished.

“We asked them whether they have a written complaint and they said somebody had ‘verbally’ complained. These are childish reasons aimed at stalling the screening”, he said.

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