Movie theatres in Indian-controlled Kashmir have reopened their doors, more than two decades after they were forced shut during an armed rebellion that saw multiple threats and attacks on crowded public places.
The lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, inaugurated the disputed region’s newest cinema on Tuesday, in a ceremony marked with much hype and fanfare, reports CNN.
“(The opening) is a reflection of a new dawn of hope, dreams, confidence and aspirations of people,” Sinha told reporters outside the theatre in Indian Kashmir’s largest city, Srinagar, calling it a “historic” day, according to the Press Trust of India.
The theatre held a special screening of the film ‘Lal Singh Chaddha,’ a Bollywood remake of ‘Forrest Gump,’ that stars two of India’s biggest superstars, Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor.
The movie theatre will open to the public on September 30, according to businessman, Vijay Dhar, who has partnered with Indian cinema chain Inox Leisure Ltd., to open the theatre in Srinagar.
Kashmir is one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints. In the late 1980s, a violent insurgency in Indian-controlled Kashmir claimed the lives of more than 9,000 civilians according to the Indian government, though estimates vary. Movie theatres were forced to close in the aftermath.