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Tourist death aftermath:JK to issue advisory to tourists for traveling during violence-hit days

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Srinagar, May 09: The state government has decided to issue an advisory for safety of tourists particularly during uncertainty in Kashmir.
The move has come apparently in the backdrop of death of R. Thirumani Selvan, a Chennai-based tourist who was killed in a stone pelting incident at Narbal, Budgam, on Monday.
Chief Spokesperson of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Rafi Ahmad Mir, on Wednesday said the direction for the same has come from the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to Tourism Department for chalking out the way to prevent such incidents in future.
“The incident can shake the confidence of tourism players. Now that it has happened, we hope it will be the last incident. An advisory will come from government, which will advise tourists when to visit where during uncertainty,” he told reporters.
He said the strategy will be chalked out by the tourism department by considering all the tourist destinations across the valley.
“Government has the means to restrict the attack on tourists. Now it has to be decided how to protect them from getting hurt. Government, peace loving people have to gear up to prevent it in future,” Mir said.
The Chief PDP Spokesperson said the incident should be seen as an isolated one.
“There can be the possibility that some elements or groups have committed the crime after seeing tourist flow amid tense situation in Kashmir. They might be trying to disturb the peace and affect Kashmir’s economy,” he said.,
Mir said such incident can impact the image of Kashmir outside state, which he said can be a big blow to the valley’s tourism industry.
“Kashmir has been known worldwide for its hospitality, which helped in promoting the region. Yatris even were safe and treated well by the Kashmiris during peak violence. So opinions are needed to improve the situation at earliest for them,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Tourism Department has also constituted a helpline for the safety of tourists on visit or plan to visit the valley.
Sixteen officers, including the Director, Kashmir Tourism, have been directed to maintain liaison with the tourists and ensure their comfortable visit to the Kashmir Valley.
Director Tourism Department, Mahmood Ahmad Shah, said the department has not received any direction so far regarding issuing an advisory for tourists.
He, however, said that they constituted a helpline covering various destinations adding some more areas would be added to the list.
“I don’t know about the advisory yet. But we are working now and are adding few more numbers for tourists visiting the valley,” Shah said.