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Documentary catches flak from Kashmiri pandits

Kashmiri pandits staged a protest demanding ouster of the director of DD's Srinagar centre.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2006 18:59 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Hurt by the alleged depiction of Kashmiri Pandits in a "bad light" in a Doordarshan programme, members of the community staged a protest on October 31 before the Raj Bhawan in Jammu, demanding ouster of the director of the national broadcaster's Srinagar centre.

The director, Shahzada Simon, however, rejected the allegation and urged the Pandits not to pay heed to what she termed a "misinformation campaign by some elements".

Holding placards and wearing black badges, over 400 Pandits protested for about two hours, raising slogans against the Doordarshan Kendra in Srinagar.

They alleged that on October 23, Srinagar Doordarshan had telecast a programme on Kashmiri Sufi saint Sheikh-e-Noordin Noorani (Nund Rishi) during which a panellist had reportedly said that Kashmiri Pandits voluntarily opted for Islam due to the saint's influence and burnt two tonnes of sacred thread.

The protestors, under the banner of All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference, handed over a memorandum to Jammu and Kashmir Governor S K Sinha through Raj Bhawan officials.

Demanding a probe into the episode, All Party Migrant Coordination Committee chief Vinod Pandit termed the incident "unfortunate" and urged Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyarajan Dasmunshi to take necessary action.

However, Simon told PTI that she had already probed the matter and found "no (no) such thing in the programme at all".

"I have reviewed the tapes of the programme on the Sufi saint along with a probe panel and found no such comment made in the documentary. It is a misinformation campaign with no iota of truth," Simon said.

First Published: Oct 31, 2006 18:59 IST