Tourist arrivals in Kashmir down by 50 percent: Omar

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 23, 2011 13:50 hrs

Jammu, March 23 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir saw a 50 percent decline in tourist inflow in the first three months of this year compared to the corresponding period last year, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said Wednesday.

Replying to a question on the grants for departments headed by him, including home, planning, general administration and power, Omar told the state assembly that tourist arrival had slumped compared to last year.

However, he did not give out specific numbers.

More than half a million tourists visited the Kashmir Valley until mid-June last year, before trouble erupted over teenager Tufail Mattoo death June 11 after being hit by a teargas shell.

The summer of 2010 saw more than four months of violent unrest triggered by the death. More than 100 people were killed in clashes with security forces.

Omar also took a dig at the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for ignoring its role in the unrest. He said that the roots of the trouble which erupted in 2009 and 2010 lay in Amarnath land row of 2008, when transfer of 100 acres of land near the pilgrim spot snowballed into a major political controversy.

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