J&K Tourism in danger: Spanish man injured in protests

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Jammu and Kashmir
Srinagar, Feb 16: The dark days in Jammu and Kashmir are back again. As protests continue in the state over the hanging of Afzal Guru, tourism industry has been badly affected. Moreover, curfew has been finally lifted from Kashmir valley after seven days on Saturday, Feb 16. However, sources say, heavy army presence will monitor the situation in the state.

Media reports say, a Spanish tourist was injured on Friday as valley witnessed several protests to oppose hanging of Guru. Protesters clashed with security forces. Sources inform that there were incidents of stone pelting at Naid Khai, Azad Gunj Baramulla, Handwara, Ajas Bandipora, Muran Pulwama, Charar-i-Sharief and Qaimoh Kulgam.

Another four men were also injured in the protests.

Guru was hanged exactly a week back in Tihar jail. Guru, a main convict in 2001 Parliament attack was buried in the premises of the jail only. Family of Guru has been demanding the return of his body. But, government is yet to relent.

Government imposed strict curfew across the valley fearing untoward incidents in the wake of Guru's hanging.

As the situation remains tense, many are fearing that flow of tourists in the state might be affected.

Jammu and Kashmir tourism department officials said the tension on the LoC after the killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops and Afzal's hanging had taken a toll on the industry.

"Only few tourists are present in Kashmir and they too are mostly those who had come for skiing at Gulmarg. While many tourists have left, there have been many cancellations too, roughly 40 per cent," an official said.

An official of a hoteliers' organisation said: "We normally get free individual travellers (those who are not part of guided tours) during February. The situation has certainly hit this section," he said.

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