This Article is From Aug 09, 2019

South African Tourist Couple Leave J&K "Disappointed", Say Hope To "Come Back"

The tourists from South Africa said they will return to Kashmir valley once the situation improves

South African Tourist Couple Leave J&K 'Disappointed', Say Hope To 'Come Back'

Curfew-like restrictions are in force in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir


A South African couple's plan to celebrate their 38th marriage anniversary in Jammu and Kashmir ended in disappointment due to the security clampdown, but they said they are hopeful of returning to the valley when the situation improves.

Neil Storm and his wife Merrill arrived in Kashmir valley on August 2, a day after visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra, and had planned to celebrate the rest of the week in Kashmir valley.

"We are leaving disappointed... We planned a trek in the mountains but it could not materialise as the forces have blocked everything," said Mr Storm, a retired army personnel, minutes before leaving for Delhi.

He said they will return to the valley once the situation improves. "We would like to come back any other time because our hosts were so beautiful and nice. We liked this place and it is time to keep in touch with our hosts to know the exact situation so that we can plan our trip accordingly without any disturbance or wasting so much money," he said.

He said though he has a six-month Indian visa, establishing contact with the Kashmiri host to get an advice is not possible because of snapping of communication lines at the moment. "We will be happy if we return to the valley... sooner the best," he said.

Curfew-like restrictions are in force in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir to scuttle any trouble over scrapping of provisions of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories earlier this week.

The restrictions under prohibitory orders were eased in some parts of Civil Lines and Dal Lake areas in Srinagar on Thursday.

The couple was staying in a house boat in Nigeen Lake near Hazratbal on the outskirts of the city and had visited Mughal Gardens along Dal Lake. "The lakes here are very beautiful and so are the house boats. I have never seen such a thing in my life even as we have been travelling to different countries over the past 20 years. The house boats are in fact unbelievable," he said.