Jammu, Feb. 22 -The Minister for Agriculture, G. H. Mir, has expressed surprise over the reports that he had slighted a group of Journalists near Tangmarg by pointing his middle finger towards them.
Kashmir Independent Press (KIP), news agency of J&K quoting Mir said that he himself was amused when he was informed by the journalists that as Minister he had not allowed the police to probe into the complaints of fleecing filed by a section of tourists. He said that the brief interaction with journalists was all in a light vein and it seems that he has been misunderstood by newsmen.
KIP in a news bulletin said that in reply to a question Mir said that he had not issued any instructions to the police that they should not look into the complaints. He said the police were free to examine the issue and if those connected with tourist traffic were found to be resorting to fleecing action under law had to be taken.
KIP quoting Mir said that a large number of tourists have been making it to Gulmarg for enjoying skiing and skating on snow and he had not been told by any tourists that they were fleeced. He said "it is for the police to find out the truth."
Reports said that some tourists had informed journalists that they were being fleeced by the locals who charged Rs.500 as rent for a jacket for a day, Rs.200 as rent for snow shoes and Rs.100 for sunglasses, KIP said in a news bulletin.
According to KIP Mir has suggested to all those connected with tourism to adopt certain norms so that visitors and excursionists felt comfortable during their stay in Kashmir. He wanted traders, transporters and hoteliers and houseboat owners to treat to as honoured guests and the same treatment be meted out to the pilgrims to Mata Vaishnov Devi and Amarnath cave. He said any act of lust or greed other part of traders, transporters and hoteliers could affect tourist and pilgrim traffic to Jammu and Kashmir.