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The statement, however, admitted 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 the middle of an area where pelting was going on,” the police said.
Sources confirmed to TOI that stone-pelters did attack tourists on Sunday evening causing injuries to two women — Sandya Kumari (25), wife of Manish Kumar, and Mandana Jaswal (35), wife of Ajay Jaswal, both from Uttar Pradesh. They were taken to SMHS hospital for treatment. Sandya was hit in the abdomen and Mandana was hit on the head. Both were discharged after treatment, according to Dr Muneer Ahmad, deputy superintendent of SMHS hospital.
The incident, according to officials, occurred around 8pm at Awantipora on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway when a mob of around 100 pelted stones on the vehicle in which tourists were travelling towards Srinagar. “The vehicle was partially damaged and two persons sustained injuries. The doctors at the hospital discharged the injured tourists after investigation,” officials said.
Awantipora superintendent of police Zahid Ahmad confirmed the incident but not its location. “It is ok (sic), but it didn’t take place in Awantipora police district. It happened somewhere near Khanabal in Anantnag,” he said.
In another incident, two women sustained head injuries when the cab they were travelling in was hit by stones at Humhama on the airport road on Sunday afternoon. The NRI tourists were staying at Taj Vivanta and remained confined to the hotel on Monday owing to a shutdown in the valley following a strike called by separatists.
Taj Vivanta refused access to the tourists. However, Muzaffar Baba, owner of Alka Salka restaurant, where the tourists had stopped for lunch after escaping stone-pelting, confirmed the incident to TOI. The tourists had narrated the incident to Baba.
In another incident, two buses carrying a group of tourists from Indonesia were attacked with stones near Dalgate at the Dal Lake bank on Sunday evening. However, houseboat owners at the lake chased away the mob, eyewitnesses said. A senior district officer, who did not want to be named, confirmed the incident, and said, “Some rowdies threw stones on the bus but they were chased away.”
Vikram Kumar, general secretary of a local hotel association, told TOI that a group of youths threatened tourists in Royal Velvet hotel at Nai Sadak and asked them to leave Srinagar. The youths had an altercation with the hotel owner who tried to stop them, following which they smashed the glass of dining tables in the hotel. A few youths have been identified and detained in Kral Khud police station.
Former chief minister of J&K Omar Abdullah had tweeted on Tuesday, saying, “In light of some people tweeting to tell me the Times of India story datelined from Srinagar was “Fake News” I’m deleting the tweet.”
In light of some people tweeting to tell me the Times of India story datelined from Srinagar was “Fake News” I’m deleting the tweet.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) 1522733319000
He was referring to his earlier tweet in which he had tweeted “a story from the front page of the Delhi edition of one of India’s most trusted newspapers, not some rag that makes a living from gossip & lies” and “if this is really fake news let’s see an acceptance of the same & a retraction of the story on the front of tomorrow’s Times of India.” On Tuesday, The Times of India’s Delhi edition had carried a front page report, ”
Stone pelters attack tourists in Kashmir, 4 hurt