Days after he lost his son to a stone pelting tragedy in Jammu and Kashmir, 22 year-old Thirumani's father is seething with anger over the apathy of the government. Slamming the government for not protecting tourists, Rajavel asks why the valley, a hotbed of violence, continues to allow tourism.
Speaking to TNM, he says, “The main reason we went there on vacation is because we believed the government. We thought that the Kashmir government and the central government supported us. We didn’t know that they would do this. We will never go there again. If we go as tourists, we go because we believe it is safe. Once we know it is unsafe, we cannot go. It is dangerous to continue tourism there. The central government should either make sure to give protection or tell us not to go. If you tell us not to go there, we won't go. If you are keeping it open, then they should give us protection. Whatever has happened to me should not happen to others."
Rajavel and his family had gone to Jammu and Kashmir for a holiday when their son, 22 year-old Thirumani, got caught in a stone pelting incident in the Narbal area of Budgam district and succumbed to his injuries.
Thirumani was admitted to the Sher e Kashmir Institute of Medical Science with injuries to his nose and forehead.
While the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti visited the hospital soon after the death of his son, he is aghast that not one person from the Central government, of which he is an employee, has not reached out to the family.
“The CM met me. She cooperated with us and consoled us. She said don’t worry about anything and she asked for our forgiveness. But the Central government hasn’t taken any action,” slam Rajavel.
Rajavel also says that he wants to return the solatium given to him by the state government. “My son has died, they have given us Rs 3 lakh. Is that the worth of my son? Is that what they give for all others? Or is it on case by case basis? He was studying BCom, he was working in a company. He was helping to run the household. I am in the central government. But that salary is not enough. If they give my son and daughter a job, it will be a burden off me. Mafoi Pandiarajan came to console us. He said he will talk to the Chief Minister.”