22-year-old R Thirumani who was admitted to hospital with serious injuries on Monday morning, slipped into coma and died in the evening.
Srinagar: The death of a 22-year-old tourist from Chennai in a stone-pelting incident at Narabal on the outskirts of Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar on Monday has evoked widespread outrage in the state.
J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that she is ashamed that a person who had come all the way from far off Tamil Nadu to spend leisure time in the valley was killed in stone-pelting.
R Thirumani, a resident of Avadi in Chennai had studied at DRBCCC Hindu College and was presently working at Accenture Chennai. He along with three other members of the family including parents had reached Srinagar on Sunday on a five-day trip to Kashmir. Next morning, they hired a Tavera cab to relocate to the valley’s premier resort Gulmarg. But around 7 am when the vehicle was passing through Narabal along Srinagar-Gulmarg road it was attacked by stone-pelters resulting into critical injury to Thirumani, the police sources said.
He was rushed to a Srinagar’s Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) where he succumbed to his injuries in the evening, the officials said.
The doctors said that he had been hit in forehead and face and that they had had done two CT scans on him and were proceeding with the treatment that he all of a sudden had convulsions and breathed his last. His corpse was later shifted to police hospital here before being flown to Chennai.
Strongly condemning the incident, Mufti said the death of R Thirumani is heartbreaking and it goes against the Kashmiri ethos of hospitality and respect for guests. “I’ve no words strong enough to condemn this tragic incident or even condole with the family”, she said.
Mufti also described the incident as a blot on the cultural value system of Kashmir and an attempt to bulldoze the economy of the place.
She also said that immediately on learning about the incident at 9 pm on Monday she rushed to the police hospital in Srinagar and condoled with the parents and co tourists of the victim. She conveyed the sympathies of the people of the State to the bereaved family and asked the administration to extend all support and help to them in this hour of grief.
The chief minister has also expressed concern over the injuries caused to a girl from Handwara (Kashmir) in the same incident while wishing her a speedy recovery.
Mufti also took to Twitter early Tuesday to condemn the incident. She said, “It’s truly heartbreaking when a family saves for years to realise their dream of visiting Kashmir & while they are here they face their worst nightmare. I have no words strong enough to condemn this tragic incident or even begin to condole the family”.
In another tweet, she while reiterating her stance on the Kashmir imbroglio said, “Without a sustained, meaningful dialogue & outreach, not just from the govt but from the entire country, J&K will get pushed deeper into this vortex of gloom. My deepest condolences to the deceased’s family & my prayers go out to the girl who was injured in the same incident.
Kashmir’s chief Muslim cleric and chairman of his faction of separatist Hurriyat Conference alliance, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, also condemned the incident. He tweeted, “Deeply saddened by the news of death of a tourist due to stone pelting. Condemn such hooliganism and rowdiness. It is totally against our ethos of treating tourists as respected guests and brings a bad name to the peoples’ movement”.
CPIM’s state secretary Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami while condemning the incident asked “Whose ‘cause’ is fulfilled by such brutal killings.”
Earlier former Chief Minister and working president of opposition National Conference (NC), Omar Abdullah had in a tweet said, “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”.
There has been widespread outrage in the Valley against the incident and many people also took to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to express their resentment and condemnation. Many people demanded head of the culprits. One of them said, “They too deserve to be stoned to death”