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'It is heartbreaking', says Mehbooba on Chennai tourist's death; Omar calls stone pelters 'goons'

By Vikas

After meeting the family of a Chennai tourist, who was killed at Jammu and Kashmir's Narbal in a stone pelting incident, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the act of stone pelters and termed it as "sad and heartbreaking".

A tourist from Chennai became the latest victim of stone pelting in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday (May 7). The 22-year-old tourist was killed at Narbal after stone pelters hurled stones at a vehicle. R Thirumani was hit on his nose and forehead, following which he was shifted to the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences. He succumbed to injuries at the hospital.

J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti

"My head hangs in shame," HT reported Mehbooba Mufti as saying. "It is very sad and heartbreaking," she said after meeting the family of the deceased.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also expressed grief over the incident and called stone pelters "goons".

"We've killed a tourist by throwing stones at the vehicle he was travelling in. Let's try and wrap our heads around the fact that we stoned a tourist, a guest, to death while we glorify these stone pelters & their methods..This young man from Chennai died in my constituency & while I don't support these goons, their methods or their ideology I'm deeply, deeply sorry that this happened at all & that too in an area I've been proud to represent since 2014," Omar said in a series of tweets.

This is the third such incident in which innocents have become a victim of stone pelting. Last week, stone pelters targeted a school bus. In April, stone pelters attacked a tourist bus in Anantnag district. The bus was carrying both locals and tourists.

The incident triggered a series of reactions and the most prominent one was pertaining to the amnesty granted to stone pelters. Back in January, a decision was taken to grant at least 5.500 first time stone pelters amnesty. The decision was taken in a bid to bring the youth back to the mainstream amidst the outrage created by a section which felt that being harsh on the young would lead nowhere.

Even more ironically, the Hurriyat leadership has been silent on this incident. In fact there was no condemnation from the Hurriyat leadership when stone pelters attacked a tourist bus on April 3- at Anantnag district. A group of youngsters pelted stones at a bus carrying both locals and tourists at around 8 pm.

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