Kashmir Film Festival in Hyderabad Vandalized:

‘At approx 12 noon today, the organizers of the festival ‘Kashmir – Before our Eyes’, had gathered along with the film makers, at Prasad Lab preview theater, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.

At this point a group of about 60 to 70 men arrived, began shouting, and damaging property of Prasad Lab preview theater. They smashed the plait glass door and windows, TV screens, flower pots on the ground floor. Then they came up to the first floor, where we were siting and tried to stop the music and take away the music system.

They then forced open the door of the auditorium and then they went to the the 3rd floor, forced opened the door of the projection room. They damaged the hard disk, belonging to Prasad Lab preview theater, removed some film material and set it on fire outside the theater building.

They destroyed the monitor of the projector and also removed a Mac book Pro laptop belonging to Ajay Raina, when a staff member of Prasad Lab preview theater tried to retrieve the laptop, he was badly beaten up and chased by the mob, till some organizers, particularly Dr. Vasundhara Jalali saved him.

An invited film maker Siddhartha Giggo was also attacked. In all this Ajay Raina was able to identify one Mr. Rahul Razdan, who was wearing a black t-shirt with the slogan, ‘I am a Kashmiri Pandit‘. He was seen with the mob and pointing out at Sanjay Kak, who was also subsequently attacked by the mob.

The film festival jointly curated by Ajay Raina and Pankaj Rishi Kumar in association with FD zone Mumbai, is a travelling film festival of Kashmiri films. This festival has been shown, in Mumbai, Chennai, Trissur, and Pondicherry to an appreciative audience so far.

The stolen laptop contains all the films and valuable data both for this festival and Ajay’s personal work. The event is going on right now with a blank screen and the discussion on Kashmir is continuing.

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