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Police rebuts news about attack on tourists, may take action

By Rabiya Bashir

Srinagar, April 03: The police as well as the Tourism Department refuted the report carried by a New Delhi-based newspaper as per which two tourist buses were attacked by stone-throwers.
The report, in The Times of India, read: “Two buses carrying tourists from Indonesia were pelted with stones near Dal Lake. Two women tourists from Abu Dhabi suffered head injuries after being hit by stones thrown at their cab the airport on Sunday night. They were hospitalised. A mob attacked a tourist bus at Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district and threw stones at it, injuring two women from UP.”
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Swayam Prakash Pani said the news was not based on facts and that they would take “appropriate action”.
“Tourist are very safe here. Sometimes during stone pelting anyone can get hurt, but we cannot say tourists are being deliberately targeted. The report is false. We will definitely take an action,” he said.
Director Tourism, Mahmood Ahmad Shah, stated that no tourist was attacked in Kashmir.
“We talked to police and they clarified that no such incident happened in the area (Dalgate),” he said.
“Kashmir was the only place where even robbed belongings are at times returned to the tourists. Kashmiri people have always shown bravery in saving the tourists. They have always welcomed the foreign as well as national tourists with open hearts.”
He said the state received one lakh foreigners and over one crore national tourists in 2017.
“The people and the stakeholders here will never let the tourism industry die. They have kept the industry alive and will continue to doing it,” he said.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar, Imtiyaz Ismail Parray, said that didn’t find any stone pelting near Dal Lake.
“We are examining the report. The news report has mentioned about an attack near Dal Lake, but we didn’t find any incident near Dal Lake. We will definitely take an action against the false report,” he said.
He said the news report was carried “to spread a scare”.
“Somebody has a vested interest in filing such stories, but we are collecting the facts and legal action will be taken soon.”
About the reported attack on a tourist bus at Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, the SSP concerned, Choudhary Mohammad Aslam, said, “There has been no attack on the tourists in south Kashmir and no incident has happened on the stretch of the national highway falling within my jurisdiction.”
“Day after yesterday there were reports coming about some obstruction at bypass national highway. But when our SHO rushed to the spot he found no such incident. The news report is false. In fact the road leading to Rajouri and Poonch has been opened on March 31, and the people are moving smoothly.”
In a statement released immediately after the news report, police, however, said that two tourists got minor injuries on April 1.
“They were given first aid and discharged immediately. There has been no intended or designed attack on any tourist. It was because the vehicles came in middle an area where pelting was going on,” it said.