Why Didn't I Push You Down, Weeps Sister Of Tourist Killed In Kashmir

Thirumani, 25, died on Monday after being hit by stone-throwing protesters outside Srinagar

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Why Didn't I Push You Down, Weeps Sister Of Tourist Killed In Kashmir

Thirumani, a tourist from Tamil Nadu, was killed in stone-throwing in Kashmir


Chennai:  At a house outside Chennai, there was excitement, joy and anticipation just days ago, as a family of four prepared for their long-planned trip to Kashmir.

Yesterday, the family returned to their home in Pattabiram with a coffin.

Thirumani, 25, died on Monday after being hit by stone-throwing protesters outside Srinagar, when he was in a car with his parents and sister, travelling to the ski-resort of Gulmarg.

The commerce graduate, an analyst with Accenture, reportedly had an earpiece on and couldn't hear his father's warning when the car was attacked by the mob.

"Where is his face? I should have pushed you too down like Amma (mother)," wept his sister, who was also in the car and had dragged her mother down to escape the hail of stones.

Thirumani's mother and sister sobbed at the sight of his mangled face.

It was a dream trip for the family and Thirumani's parents had been preparing for it for a long time.

"We've killed a tourist by throwing stones at the vehicle he was travelling in. Let's try and wrap our heads around the fact that we stoned a tourist, a guest, to death while we glorify these stone-pelters & their methods," National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, seen consoling Thirumani's parents in Srinagar, said: "My head hangs in shame."

Neighbours and friends say Thirumani was soft-spoken and mostly quiet. "He was a handsome man of few words," said one friend.

Manoj, a family friend, said: "Such a quiet guy. Thirumani hardly spoke to us, such a huge tragedy to the family."

KS Balachander, another friend, said: "He would often be alone and he didn't have many friends."

The Tamil Nadu government has offered Rs 3 lakh to the family. The state culture minister Ma Foi Pandiarajan, who is also the local lawmaker, said: "Our heart goes out to the family at this hour."

There was no lapse on the part of the Jammu and Kashmir government, he said. "Around 40 others who had gone to Kashmir as part of the same group are returning."

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palanisamy has said his government is also working to bring back around 130 other tourists current visiting Kashmir.


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