January 2008 News

Conservative Kashmir Loves Porn

16 January 2008
DNA
Ishfaq-ul-Hassan

Srinagar: The country’s paradise on earth has sadly degenerated into a heaven for pornographic CD dealers. With entertainment sources limited due to militancy, the pornographic trade is booming. Jammu and Kashmir police have launched a special drive to crackdown on the illegal trade which thrives in the civil lines area of Kashmir. “After receiving specific information, we raided the Lal Chowk area and recovered pornographic CDs. We also arrested two persons,” said Parvez Ahmad, station house officer of Kothibagh police station who led the raids on Tuesday night. Court road market and even vendors openly sell pornographic material on the roadside taking advantage of the laxity of the law enforcement agencies. The x-rated CDs and DVDs sell like hot cakes and their demand is increasing day by day. “The market is growing day by day. Our stocks last for only a week and then we have to order more. It is the only component in the CD business that is lucrative otherwise a person can now buy a CD of other films for just Rs30 to Rs35,” said a pornographic CD dealer. Surprisingly, he showed no sign of fear even though police raided the Lal Chowk area last night. The Forum against Social Evils (FASE), an NGO working towards a healthy society, said the sale of pornographic material was posing a threat to the religious fabric of Kashmir. “Several residents have complained to us about the pornographic market thriving next door. We approached the SSP and informed him about this menace. Our efforts have yielded results after police raided some shops on Tuesday. We are also trying our best to convince people not to indulge in this trade,” said Parvez Maqbool Shah, general secretary of FASE. Entertainment has been the biggest casualty in Kashmir for the past 17 years. Cinemas, cable operations, liquor shops, bars and video libraries have all faced the brunt of militants. Of the eight cinemas that were operation in 1989, only one is now functional. And that too is operating under heavy security cover. People have to think twice before watching a movie in a theatre because they fear militants would impose a ban.

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