Bollywood shoots under ‘siege’ in Pahalgam

Barbed Wires, Heavy Security Grid Troubles Locals, Tourists

SHABIR IBN YUSUF/MUKEET AKMALI

Pahalgam, Sep 1: A heavy security bandobast for shooting of Shahrukh Khan’s untitled film here has become a cause of huge inconvenience for tourists and local businessmen.
 Business fraternity here says they have incurred heavy losses due to the ongoing shooting. “The entire area has been turned into fortress with security forces all around the place,” they said.
 “Because of the shooting, the tourist rush to this place has thinned. The security grid is a cause of huge inconvenience to them. So they prefer to go to other places and evade Pahalgam,” said Muhammad Maqbool, a shopkeeper here.
 It is not only the traders who are bearing the brunt of SRK’s shooting but hoteliers too are angry at the way authorities are handling the show.
 “Our bookings are getting cancelled as the tourists are being frisked at various places before reaching the hotels. Nobody wants such disruption when they are on a holiday,” said a hotelier, insisting not to be identified.
 He said tourists, who have booked hotels near the site of shooting, have to get verification done from police. “They are not allowed to move into hotels easily. It is very hectic for them. I was asked to get the verification certificate from police and then move into the hotel. It is totally absurd. The film stars travel to different parts of the world. But here their presence means a lot of inconvenience,” Mahesh Kumar, a tourist from Gujarat said.
 Even the ponnywalas said they are not allowed to venture out in areas where shooting is on. “We are thus losing our livelihood.”
 “We were very excited that with the beginning of shooting we will get better opportunities of livelihood but it has proved to be a damp squib,” Zafar Ahmad , a ponnywala said.
 Khan is accompanied by his own security guards. A vast area in Aru area here has been sealed with barbed wires and the area is out of bounds for locals and tourists.
 Police however claim that there is no inconvenience to locals and tourists because of shooting. “Nobody is allowed to see the shooting from close range,” Deputy Inspector General (South Kashmir) Vijay Kumar said “If anybody faces any problem, he should report to police. Everybody in the area is moving freely.”

Lastupdate on : Sat, 1 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 1 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 2 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST




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