woensdag 11 februari 2009

Swedish Skier Beaten In Gulmarg On Holy Words


Protests erupted in Gulmarg today with irate local groups beating up a foreign skier after his sledge was found to be inscribed with holy verses.

Reports said that people spotted the kalima-e-tayyaba, or the basic creed of Islam, inscribed over the bottom of the ski sledge of one Hans Patrick, a skier who had come all the way from Sweden to enjoy the slopes of Gulmarg.

Locals in Tangmarg and Gulmarg erupted in protest, and some groups pounced on the tourist, beating him up.

But the foreigner was rescued by the police who took him under their custody.

The skier, who had been staying in a private hut for the past 10 days, was a part of a group brought here by the Israeli travel agency, EDOO, which has been operating Gulmarg tours for the past several years.

The locals also staged protest against the police for its failure to register a case on the tourist.

Meanwhile, an official spokesman here said that the sticker carrying the holy words had been given to the tourist by his wife, who is a Qatari Muslim, for his protection, but he had unknowingly used it incorrectly.

"Kashmiris overwhelmingly welcome the arrival of foreign tourists in Kashmir and such incidents are almost unheard of but in this incident ignorance had led to offending local sensibilities", said Babar Khan of Lake City Tours and Travels.

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