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Body of Youth Killed in J&K Stone-Pelting Reaches Chennai

Thirumani (22) was reportedly travelling in a bus that was attacked by stone-pelters on Monday.

Updated
India
5 min read
J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti meets parents of Chennai youth killed in stone-pelting.
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The mortal remains of the tourist killed in a stone-pelting incident near Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir was brought to Chennai on Tuesday, 8 May.

Three people have been arrested in J&K after the youth from Tamil Nadu succumbed to his injuries sustained during clashes between protesters and security forces on the outskirts of Srinagar on Monday, 7 May.

R Thirumani (22), a resident of Chennai, suffered head injuries after being hit by a stone during the clashes, a police official said. He later passed away at SKIMS hospital in Soura.

While Tamil Nadu governemnt announced Rs 3 lakhs as compensation, the J&K government has reportedly announced Rs 2 lakhs. The last rites is expected take place tomorrow around 12 noon.

This is a poor family. It is distressing that they got caught in the incident. It was unexpected. The family is very touched with the support of J&K. The CM rushed to see the family and apologised with folded hands.
Mafoi Pandiarajan, Minister for Tamil Culture and Archaeology  

He added that the boy was rushed to the hospital without any delay, and called the incident an “accident”.

The father of the youth said that he was touched with the help provided by J&K CM.

I was touched with the way CM Mehbooba Mufti and other officials helped us. She apologised to us, and promised to help us with all arrangements. We were taken to the airport and even dropped till our seats. I’m very touched. 
Rajavelu, Father of Boy  

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has said that her “head hangs in shame,” and that “it is very sad and heartbreaking.”

Thirumani was reportedly travelling in a bus that was attacked by stone-pelters on Srinagar-Gulmarg road. J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also met the parents of the victim later in the day.

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This Can’t Be Kashmiriyat: J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti

According to a PTI report, she also said that it was the “murder of humanity” and that the incident had rattled the mother in her.

Those who pick up stones to kill someone have no religion, the CM said after meeting the father of the deceased.

She also bemoaned that the issue would be discussed and debated on television for days. “We will be silently watching the murder of humanity, which has been unheard of in the state of Jammu and Kashmir", Mehbooba told PTI.

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.

Refusing to talk about tourism, since “it is a basic question about humanity,” Mehbooba asserted that “This can’t be Kashmiriyat.”

Mehbooba said that this incident will have an impact on the entire concept of Kashmiriyat.

My brother Tasaduq (Mufti, who is the state tourism minister) keeps on saying that its not about (tourism) industry but about humanity. We are failing on that.

Unfortunate Incident: Sitharaman Condemns Incident

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Tuesday, condemned the incident, calling it absolutely unfortunate.

Absolutely unfortunate. For a tourist to be killed, it’s absolutely condemnable.
Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister

Palaniswami Seeks Mufti’s Help for The Safe Return of 130 TN Tourists

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Tuesday spoke to his counterpart Mehbooba Mufti over the phone and sought her help for the safe return of 130 tourists from his state, reported PTI.

The chief minister, in an official release, said he had spoken to Mehbooba Mufti and sought her help for the safe return of the 130 tourists. He also announced a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the next of kin.

The Tamil Nadu CM requested tourists visiting other states to “plan a safe journey,” and said that ourists in Jammu and Kashmir may get in touch with officials of the TN House by calling 011-24193450, 24193100 and 24193200.

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All Political Groups Must Come Forward to End Such Incidents: PDP

The People's Democratic Party (PDP) called the killing of civilians in Kashmir, a “worrying trend in the state that needs to be curbed”.

The PDP government’s official Twitter handle also said the efforts to hurt Kashmir’s people and economy would be “pushed back”.

Hurriyat Leadership Also Condemns Tourists’s Death

Chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, condemned the incident, calling it “hooliganism”. He added that the incident brought “a bad name to the peoples movement”.

Former CM Omar Abdullah: J&K Govt Has Failed

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who represents the Beerwah constituency where Narbal is located, lashed out at the BJP-PDP government in Jammu & Kashmir, asking “How much blood will have to be shed in Kashmir before the Hon PM realises the gravity of the situation in J&K? When will enough finally be enough?”

The former CM also expressed his condolences, and added that he was “deeply sorry that this happened at all”.

Speaking to ANI, he said:

We are proud of our hospitality, we talk about it to the world. But what happened is nothing but sad and shameful. Unfortunately, in last three years the condition in Kashmir Valley is deteriorating.

A woman from Handwara was also reportedly injured in the attack and was admitted in the hospital for treatment.

Opposition Parties Condemn Attack

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Joint Secretary Ruben Mascarenhas condemned the incident as “simply unacceptable”, pointing out that the tourism industry as well as Kashmir’s economy would suffer because of incidents like this.

Congress youth leader Salman Nizami also condemned the stone-pelting, calling it an “utter failure of PDP-BJP govt”.

The Jammu Republic Party demanded the immediate booking of people responsible for Thirumani’s death.

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Such Incidents Destroy The Basic Fabric of Kashmiriyat: Seperatists

The Joint Resistance Forum, comprising the three main separatist groups in Kashmir, on Tuesday condemned the death of a tourist whose vehicle was targeted by stone-pelters and said the incident had dented the image of the Valley and its tradition of welcoming guests, reported PTI.

The death of 22-year-old Chennai resident R Thirumani was "unfortunate" and had undermined their struggle, said a statement from the Forum, comprising the hardline and moderate factions of the Hurriyat Conference and the JKLF.

Tourists are our guests and we should be loyal to our Kashmiri and religious traditions by refraining from harassing them.
The statement, in Urdu.

The leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and JKLF chief Yaseen Malik, said the Valley has for years hosted tourists in the best traditions of Kashmiri hospitality, reported PTI.S

People in the Valley, the statement to the press said, should refrain from destroying the basic fabric of Kashmiriyat in the state and that such incidents encourage the attempts of those who present our movement in a bad light internationally, it added.

(This is a developing story and will be updated. With inputs from PTI.)

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