May 2000 News

Foreign tourist shot at in Srinagar

21 May 2000

Srinagar: Tourism promoters in Jammu and Kashmir who felt the time was ripe to woo holidayers back to the Kashmir Valley received a big jolt when a foreign tourist was shot and wounded in a crowded neighbourhood here. Unidentified gunmen targetted the tourist from the Czech Republic, Pawal Hadil, in the densely populated Khanyar area on Saturday. Ironically, the incident took place on the day Union Home Ministry officials brought a planeload of travel agents and reporters to promote tourism in Kashmir. Hadil sustained a bullet wound on his right leg, doctors at the Bone and Joint Hospital here told reporters. Hadil, who had come here a couple of days ago, had gone to Rosabal in the Khanyar area of downtown Srinagar. He suddenly heard shots and a bullet pierced his leg. He was immediately rushed to hospital. Police is clueless as to who could have shot at the tourist. No group has claimed responsibility. ''We are investigating and police parties have been sent to the area to find out who had fired at the foreign tourist,'' a police officer said. This is the first time this year that a tourist, especially a foreigner, has been shot at in Jammu and Kashmir. Though there have been some incidents of killing and kidnapping of foreign tourists in the past, this is the first such incident in the past five years. The last incident was the sensational abduction of four foreign tourists from the South Kashmir resort of Pahalgam in July 1995. The whereabouts of those tourists - two Britons, an American and a German - are still not known.


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