Shutdown in Gulmarg, action against Swedish tourist demanded
Srinagar - Picturesque Gulmarg wore a deserted look today as Kashmir's famous tourist resort observed a total shutdown demanding stringent action against a Swedish tourist who carried a ski slider with verses from holy Quran allegedly inscribed on it.
All shops and businesses, including hotels, were shut in Gulmarg and nearby Tangmarg area as locals hit the streets and blocked roads for nearly two hours in the morning terming the incident as "sacrilegious".
The protesters demanded immediate action against Patrin, hailing from Sweden, for using a ski slider with verses from Quran allegedly inscribed on it, police said.
Locals also tried to march towards Baramulla district but dispersed after authorities assured them that they would take appropriate action against the tourist.
The situation in Gulmarg, the ski resort, was tense but under control, police said adding adequate security force personnel were deployed there to maintain law and order.
In Srinagar, protesters tried to take out demonstrations in Lal Chowk and other places, and when police tried to stop them, they indulged in stone-pelting.
Police burst teargas shells and resorted to cane-charge to scatter them, official sources said adding the pitched battles between the two sides lasted nearly two hours.
SHO of the Gulmarg Police Station, Mohammad Abdullah, said Patrin was handed over to police last evening by locals.
He said the slider seized from the tourist had verses from Quran inscribed on it.