Kashmiri fruit traders stop Bollywood movie shoot

October 30th, 2008 - 3:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Oct 30 (IANS) Kashmiri fruit traders Thursday intervened to stop the shooting of director Rahul Dholakia’s movie “Lamha” in the states’ summer capital Srinagar fearing the film might portray them in a bad light.”I was informed by my colleagues in the Parimpora fruit market that a film unit had set up a shoot there today,” Bashir Ahmad Bashir, the president of the fruit market in Srinagar, told IANS.

“They were shooting some actor wearing a ‘pheren’ (traditional woollen garment) wielding a gun during the shooting.

“I met the director, Dholakia, and asked him whether he had taken permission from the local authorities and also from our association to shoot his film inside the fruit market.

“After he failed to show us any permission, we politely told him to wind up the shoot and they readily agreed to do so. We also requested them to delete the parts of the film they had shot inside the fruit market today.”

He also said their intervention had become necessary as the local traders feared anything negative shown in a film about Kashmiri fruit traders would affect the entire industry adversely.

Dholakia had earlier made the critically acclaimed film “Parzania” about a boy who went missing in the 2002 Gujarat communal violence.

When IANS contacted him about Thursday’s incident, Dholakia said: “We had sought permission from some shopkeepers in the fruit market for the shoot who perhaps had not informed the office bearers of the fruit traders association and that is why the hiccup occurred today.

“Mine is a positive film about Kashmir and we are going ahead with the shoot. These hiccups are part of filmmaking and I fully understand the situation in Kashmir.”

The director also said “Lamha” was a love story. The film stars Sanjay Dutt and Bipasha Basu.

“It is a commercial movie and there are no political overtones to it. Yes, it talks of love in today’s Kashmir,” Dholakia told IANS here.

When asked about the pheren-wearing, weapon-wielding actor being part of the shoot at the local fruit market, the director said: “He was a body guard and not part of the actors in the film.”

Fruit traders in the valley had suffered huge losses earlier this year as the highway carrying their produce was blocked for days due to protests in Jammu against cancellation of land for the Amarnath shrine board.

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