Aam Aadmi Party leader Kapil Mishra on Tuesday turned a tourism event into a political face-off and questioned Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti about whether she believed Hizbul Mujabiheen commander Burhan Wani was a terrorist. Speaking at a tourism meet in New Delhi, Mishra addressed her while she sat in the audience and said, "You must tell us if you believe Burhan Wani was a terrorist...It can't be that you don't accept Burhan Wani as a terrorist and then expect tourism to increase," according to NDTV.
Delhi's tourism minister addressed the People's Democratic Party leader while she was awaiting her turn to speak. He said, "We can fight Pakistan, we can fight terrorists, but how do we fight people who give shelter to terrorists." Mishra also recalled Mufti's statement from July 28 that security forces would have spared Wani had they known he was among the militants in the Anantnag hideout during their mission on July 8.
The AAP leader continued to maintain that his question pertained to tourism in the state till Mufti answered. According to NDTV, he was asked by organisers to "tone down" his address, but did not do so.
Mufti, in response, acknowledged the state of unrest in Kashmir, she argued that it was the "safest place because no tourist has ever been harmed there". She said, "I would say women are safest in Kashmir...There is no fear, god forbid, of getting raped in a moving car," referring to several such incidents of sexual assault on women in Delhi, which is run by Mishra's AAP government.
The tourism industry in Kashmir has suffered an estimated loss of Rs 3,000 crore because of the ongoing crisis in the Valley, state government officials said on September 23. Hotels in the public and private sector were the worst affected, with many of them struggling with zero occupancy because of the unrest, they added.