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Kashmir to be recreated in Mumbai for Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal's Raazi

The makers of the film are recreating Kashmir in Film City, Mumbai, after being denied permission to shoot in the Valley.

Shriram Iyengar

Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal have already started preparations for Meghna Gulzar's next, Raazi. The film, based on Harinder Sikka's bestselling novel, Calling Sehmat, revolves around a Kashmiri spy (Bhatt) who gets married to a Pakistani Army Officer (Kaushal). Naturally, Kashmir forms an integral part of the plot's narrative. However, the makers have been unable to get permission to shoot in the Valley.

A unit member said, "The original plan was to start the shoot in the Valley. However, Kashmir has been knocked off in the first schedule. Rumours are rife that Ansarul Khilafah Jammu Kashmir (the Indian facet of the IS) is threatening the local police with violence and, in such a situation, it's in everyone's best interest to not shoot the film in the state."

The state has been facing unrest over the last couple of months, with the Indian Army battling infiltrations as recently as last week.

This has not stopped the makers of the film though. They have now decided to recreate Kashmir in studios of Mumbai itself. It might be interesting to see the extent to which the Valley and its scenery are recreated within the studio.

Sources suggest that a large set will be erected in Film City where most of the indoor sequences will be shot. "A few local Kashmiri workers have been brought in to work on the set. Local Kashmiri artworks and curios will be flown down by the producers to add to the authenticity and ethos of the decor. The set is expected to be ready in a few weeks time. 

Even as the set comes up, the shoot for the film is expected to kick-off in Punjab. Bhatt and Kaushal will begin shooting by the end of this month. The Punjab schedule will be followed by a short stint in Delhi, before the team returns to Mumbai.

Raazi is expected to be released next year.