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To pretend peace in Kashmir, tourists made scapegoats
5/8/2018 11:19:07 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, May 8: In a bid to pretend peace in restive Kashmir, government has been promoting tourism but at the cost of lives of innocent tourists, who are lured to the valley and get targeted.
A young man from Chennai, who had come to Kashmir for holidaying, has returned home in a coffin, exposing how "safe" it's to visit the valley for vacations.
Observers have blamed the state government for promoting tourism in Kashmir, when there's no security of the lives of the visiting tourists.
Amid raging gunfights to eliminate militancy, stone pelting has been a medium of aggression from the side of people who support the anti-India ideology.
Incidents of stone pelting on civilians have been on rise in Kashmir but it seems that government wants to downplay the attacks on tourists.
The state government kept under the carpets the news of tourist having been critically injured till he finally succumbed to injuries and those at the helm were left with no options but to accept the killing.
The deceased, R Thirumani, 32, was travelling in a Tavera vehicle towards Gulmarg on May 7 morning when a group of miscreants threw stones at a few passing vehicles on Gulmarg-Narbal Road.
He was taken to SKIMS, Soura, where he succumbed to his injuries in the evening, a police official said.
But the police released the handout only when the tourist breathed his last at around 8:30 in the evening.
A police official said they had "strict instructions from the political dispensation not to disclose the news till the tourist is alive."
"For quite sometime the government has not only been downplaying attack on tourists but given registration of FIR against a journalist for having reported attack on tourists, media persons avoid filing such reports," said a media analyst.
He said on May 1 also five tourists were reportedly injured during attack on a tourist bus in Anantnag district of South Kashmir but that the news was largely downplayed lest "some ministers in the state government feel offended."
"It seems that the government wants to give a rosy picture of Kashmir situation but it's happening at the cost of innocent lives of tourists. This is fake marketing of a fake product being shown secure," said a tourism player on the condition.
Sources said a group of ministers from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party are fueling a narrative that if Kashmir is promoted as a safe tourism destination, the coalition in the state will be seen as a successful.
"To meet their personal motives, these ministers are risking lives of tourists. Let the world know that Kashmir is not safe," said an observer.
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