Swede Apologises, Calm Returns To Gulmarg

9 February 2009
The Hindu

Srinagar: A day after Gulmarg observed a total shutdown demanding action against a Swede for carrying a ski slider with verses of holy Quran inscribed on it, the tourist on Monday tendered an apology bringing calm to the scenic resort. Shops and businesses reopened as normalcy returned to the ski resort soon after Patrin apologised and sought pardon for his unintentional act. 'I may be pardoned as I did not intentionally use the sticker inscribed with Quranic verses on the slider. It was not my intention to hurt religious sentiments of Muslims,' he told prominent cleric Bashiruddin. Shops and business establishments, which downed shutters on Sunday, reopened after Bashiruddin, the Grand Mufti, asked the people to pardon the Swedish national. Protesters blocked roads for nearly two hours in Gulmarg on Sunday morning terming the incident as 'sacrilegious'. In Srinagar also, pitched battles erupted between police and demonstrators who demanded stringent action against the tourist. On Saturday, locals handed over Patrin to police after they found inscriptions of Quran on the slider he was carrying after a day out on the slopes of Gulmarg.