R Thirumani, 22, and his parents were on their way to a resort in Gulmarg when they were caught in stone pelting and protests in Narbal, just outside the capital city. Thirumani died of a head injury. His mother and another relative were also injured in the attack.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who earlier on Tuesday said that the incident had left her ashamed and heartbroken, will hold an all-party meeting in Srinagar on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Kashmir Valley, ANI reported. In the past four days, eight terrorists and five civilians have also been killed.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, meanwhile, called up Mufti and asked her to ensure the safety of 130 tourists from Tamil Nadu.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also condemned Thirumani’s death, but said that the armed forces could not be held responsible for being firm with terrorists.
Opposition leader Omar Abdullah asked protestors to introspect. “We have killed a tourist by throwing stones at the vehicle he was travelling in,” he tweeted. “Let us try and wrap our heads around the fact that we stoned a tourist, a guest, to death while we glorify these stone pelters and their methods.”
The Joint Resistance Forum, which represents the three main separatist groups in Kashmir, also condemned the death. The incident had dented the Kashmir Valley’s image and its tradition of welcoming guests, it said. The death was unfortunate and had undermined their struggle, the forum added. The separatists also called called off their three-day strike and asked people to resume normal activities from Wednesday, PTI reported.
The police had said they have filed a case and have begun investigation. “The culprits will be nabbed soon,” a senior police officer told The Times of India.