6 tourists, 4 locals hurt in J&K grenade attack
Police sources said a Tata Sumo carrying tourists was on its way to Srinagar from Gulmarg when a grenade was hurled at it, reports Rashid Ahmad.Updated: Nov 28, 2006 19:27 IST
Six tourists from Kerala and four local civilians were injured in a grenade attack at Tangmarg near Gulmarg on Tuesday afternoon.
Police sources said that a group of visitors travelling in a Tata Sumo (JK02-V-7195) were on way to Srinagar from Gulmarg.
The visitors reached Tangmarg at 3.15 pm and halted there for shopping, sources added.
"As they alighted from their vehicle, a grenade was tossed towards them from an unknown direction", said a source, quoting eyewitnesses.
Source said that the splinters hit six tourists, causing grievous injuries to two of them. The grenade blast caused injuries to four local residents as well, of whom the condition of one is stated to be critical.
Around a dozen tourists have been killed and over 90 injured in 2006 alone in grenade attacks in the city.
The Valley had witnessed an unprecedented tourist inflow till May this year, and tourism authorities were expecting over a million tourists.
However, the industry suffered the first blow on May 25 when a grenade was tossed on a tourist bus from Gujrat near Hazratbal, killing four tourists and injuring six others.
Incidentally, the tourists were targeted at a time when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was holding a roundtable conference on Kashmir in Srinagar.
This set the trend for the attacks on tourists, which were followed by successive grenade attacks on tourist buses of West Bengal and MP on June 1 and 2.
July 11, however, witnessed the climax when grenade attacks left nine visitors dead and around 40 others injured. These attacks coincided with serial train blasts in Mumbai, which almost put a seal on the tourist inflow to the Valley.
Tourism, however, had gradually begun to pick up again and hundreds of holidaying visitors were making their way to Kashmir.
However, tension again built up in the valley, this time on political front, after government's decision to lease out land to non-state subjects for construction of hotels, restaurants and other tourism-related facilities.
The entire Valley shut under a protest strike on November 25. The strike was called by hard-line pro-Pakistan leader Syed Ali Geelani. The opposition National Conference had also supported the Geelanis call.
Tangmarg had witnessed massive protests by the local residents against the government move.
The opposition National Conference President Omar Abdullah and senior ruling-PDP leader and former tourism minister Ghulam Hassan Mir had also joined the local residents in sit-in protests.
The latest grenade attack is likely to scare away the tourists again.
First Published: Nov 28, 2006 16:38 IST