SRINAGAR: An Indian tourist has died after being hit by a stone thrown by protesters in Indian-administered Kashmir.
The man, who was from the southern city of Chennai (formerly Madras), was travelling to Gulmarg, a popular skiing destination in the region, when his vehicle got caught in the protests, police told BBC Urdu.
A local teenager was also injured.
Police are investigating the incident, but no arrests have been made. It is unclear what the protests were about.
While clashes with security forces are frequent in the region, protesters in Kashmir have generally not targeted tourists.
Since 1989, the Muslim-majority state has seen an armed revolt against Indian rule.
Kashmir’s Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the attack was “heartbreaking” after she met the victim’s family. “My head hangs in shame,” she was quoted as saying by the PTI news agency.
The incident has also worried a few in the tourism industry. “We cannot tolerate this. The authorities must protect the tourists,” Tariq Ahmad, a tour operator, told BBC Urdu’s Riyaz Masroor. “The industry is already suffering due to ongoing conflict,” he added.
The incident comes a week after two children were injured when mobs hurled stones at a school bus carrying around 50 students.
In April, a curfew was imposed in parts of the state after 20 people were killed and 200 injured in fierce clashes between militants and government forces.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the region, which India and Pakistan claim in full.
India blames Pakistan for fuelling the unrest, a claim denied by Islamabad.
Two out of the three wars fought between the two nations have centred centred on Kashmir.__BBC