Kashmir plans more security for tourists
27 January 2007
Indo-Asian News Service
Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government is planning to deploy more security forces at tourist destinations and resorts to protect visitors.'The government will take all measures to offer security to tourists visiting the valley. They are our guests and it is our duty to save them from militant attacks,' state Tourism Minister Mohammad Dillawar Mir told the legislative Assembly Saturday.He said that 15 tourists were killed and over 60 wounded in grenade attacks by militants in Srinagar, Gulmarg and Ganderbal areas of the valley in 2006.'More security forces, particularly paramilitary forces, will be deployed to ensure that such attacks are not repeated,' said Mir.Nearly 300,000 tourists had visited the Kashmir Valley till June 2006. But a spate of attacks that followed drastically reduced the flow of tourists.Mir added that several schemes have been launched to bring more tourists to the region. He, however, said that incidents taking place in Kashmir were 'overplayed and sensationalized' by the media that scared away those desirous of visiting the valley.Leader of opposition Abdul Rahim Rather stressed that 'stern action' be taken against those harming tourists.