Drone ban grounds cinematic dreams of Kashmir’s cameramen

Drone ban, Kashmir
There was no need to ban drones in Kashmir, as all drone operators were taking aerial shots only after seeking proper police permission | Image - Immayabharathi K

The dramatic grounding of drones in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir has paralysed the professional lives of photographers like Umar Nazir. The 25-year-old aerial snapper believes that the sudden ban and seizing of drones makes no sense as it disrupts the tourism, film, and wedding businesses in Kashmir.

“Is this ban for locals only?” Umar wonders. “What if tomorrow big Bollywood stars come to shoot in the valley, will this ban be extended to them as well? Such a ban will end the Kashmir dream for Mumbai filmmakers and also undo the efforts of the government to revive Bollywood’s romance for Kashmir. The ban doesn’t mention anything about it.”

There should have been proper guidelines, Umar says. “If government can facilitate drone usage for their own departments, why haven’t they thought about us?”

The administration of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir recently ordered a ban on the sale, possession and usage of drones in some parts of Kashmir including Srinagar and in some areas of Jammu division as well.

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