The Jammu and Kashmir government has reviewed security arrangements of tourists going to different health resorts in North and South Kashmir after a young boy from Chennai was killed while on his way from Gulmarg in a stone-throwing incident.
Senior PDP leader and vice-chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) Rafi Ahmad Mir told this reporter that advisory has been issued to tourists on how to travel during violence hit days in Kashmir.
He said that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who has already told the parents of the Chennai boy that her head hangs in shame, has instructed all the wings of the government, including the police to ensure that such tragic incidents with tourists don’t recur. Mir said that he was hopeful that tourists will continue to come and enjoy their holidays in Kashmir. He praised the entire society of Kashmir, including separatists, for condemning the incident and said that such criminal elements in the society have been isolated. Reports said that the Mehbooba Mufti dispensation has decided to provide maximum security to the tourists, who are keen to go to different places. The government has taken a strong note of the Narbal incident, in which stone-pelters were able to target tourist vehicles despite the presence of police, leaving the Chennai boy dead.
Director Tourism, Kashmir, Mehmood Ahmad Shah told this newspaper that hope has taken over despondency in the tourism trade and saluted the tourists from Chennai who completed their holidays in Kashmir despite the incident.
Shah said that he visited Gulmarg after the attack and interacted with hundreds of tourists and said that all necessary arrangements have been put in place to avoid recurrence of such tragic incident. “I met a single group of 134 tourists of Chennai in Gulmarg and they expressed satisfaction with the arrangements and said that they don’t have any fears,” Shah said. Mehmood Shah said that the killing of a tourist has not impacted the footfall of tourists as some media organisations tried to project. Shah said that incidentally Tamil Nadu is the partner of J&K state for tourism promotion under “Ek Bharat, shrestha Bharat”. He said that both states were trying to promote the tourism products of each other.