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Killing of tourist ‘murder of humanity’: Mehbooba

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today  termed the death of a 22-year-old tourist whose vehicle was targeted by stone-pelters the “murder of humanity” and said the incident had rattled the mother in her.Those who pick up stones to kill someone have no religion, an upset Mehbooba said after meeting the father of Chennai resident S Thirumani, who was holidaying in the Valley with his family and  died Monday  evening at a hospital here.

The issue would be discussed and debated on television for days  and “we will be silently watching the murder of humanity, which has  been unheard of in the state of Jammu and Kashmir”, Mehbooba told PTI.

Saying that her head hangs in shame, the chief minister questioned the education being imparted to children.

“The mother in me is rattled about the kind of education we are imparting to our next generation,” Mehbooba said.

“What are we teaching our children? To pick up stones and kill anyone walking on the road? This is not what our religion Islam preaches.

Our religion teaches us to take care of our guests. These people or boys who pick up stones to kill someone have no religion,” Mehbooba added.

She described the incident as a blot on the cultural value system of Kashmir and an attempt to bulldoze the economy of the place.  “I have no words strong enough to condemn this tragic incident or even condole with the family”, she said in her statement.

She also questioned the role of parents and asked what they were turning their children into.

Thirumani and his family were returning from Gulmarg when their vehicle was caught in stone pelting near Magam area of Budgam. A stone hit the young man on his right temple and he was rushed to the Soura Institute of Medical Sciences where he died.

“Can one imagine that the poor father had kept his entire savings to bring his family to Kashmir and he is now returning with the coffin of his son. Is this what we want?”

Asked whether the incident would have an impact on tourism sector, the chief minister said, “I can’t be talking about tourism, it is  a basic question about humanity. This can’t be Kashmiryat.”

The incident, she added, will have an impact on the entire concept of Kashmiriyat. “My brother Tasaduq (Mufti, who is the state tourism minister) keeps on saying that it’s not about (tourism) industry but about humanity. We are failing on that.”

On Monday on learning of the incident at 9 pm in the evening yesterday, the Chief Minister rushed to the Police Hospital, Srinagar and condoled with the parents and co tourists of R. Thirumani. She conveyed the sympathies of the people of the state to the bereaved family while directing 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 in the same incident while wishing her a speedy recovery.

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