SRINAGAR: A day after 20 people, including four civilians, were killed in anti-terror operations in south Kashmir, many panic-stricken tourists fled Srinagar on Monday, even as the valley observed a complete shutdown called by the separatists. Most of the tourists reached the airport early in the morning to escape attacks by stone-pelters who had targeted tourists in three places on Sunday night.
In a major setback to the tourism sector in J&K ahead of the peak season, several hotels, including five-stars, received a large number of cancellation calls from travel agents in Delhi, Mumbai and other cities on Monday.
Late Sunday night, two buses carrying a group of tourists from Indonesia were pelted with stones near Dal Lake. Prompt action by houseboat owners saved them. Two women tourists from Abu Dhabi suffered head injuries after being hit by stones thrown at the cab they were travelling in outside the airport on Sunday night. They were hospitalised. Amob attacked a tourist bus at Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district and threw stones at it, injuring two women from UP. The attack took place on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway around 9pm when more than 100 men pelted stones at the bus, which was taking tourists on a city tour. The two injured were taken to Sri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in Srinagar.