Delhi: BJP national vice president Avinash Rai Khanna said today the death of a tourist who was targeted by stone-pelters in Kashmir was an attack aimed at hurting the economic activities and the vibrant tourism sector in the state.
R Thirumani, a 22-year-old resident of Chennai holidaying in the Valley with his family, died in a stone-pelting incident near Narbal in Kashmir yesterday. “This attack has come at a time when the tourist season is just commencing and all stake-holders linked with the tourist industry were keenly waiting the arrival of tourists in large numbers,” Khanna said.
“Such incidents come as a shock for all, including the tourists,” he said, adding that tourists have planned their visit in advance and booked hotels, lodges and houseboats. Khanna said it goes without saying that a large number of people from different parts of the country and abroad come to enjoy the natural beauty of the Kashmir Valley every year.
He said right from hotel owners to houseboat owners, Shikarawalas to rehriwalas, bus to taxi operators, everyone is dependent on tourist influx, particularly during the ongoing peak season. By targeting the visitors, the stone-pelters have only hurt the tourism sector and those depending on it, he said. Keeping in view the forthcoming Amarnath Yatra, the government has to be cautious and it must deal firmly with stone-pelters, he said, adding, incident such as this also tarnish the image of a common Kashmiri and shatter peace.