Kashmir Police Investigates Tourists’ Alcohol Consumption on Dal Lake

Officials on Sunday said that they have been verifying the video and the people in it. “We are verifying the contents and will be filing an FIR under section 295 of the IPC,” said SDPO Nehru Park, Zaheer Abbas.

Police have taken cognisance after a video purportedly showing public consumption of alcohol by a group of tourists on a shikara over Dal Lake elicited outrage in Kashmir valley.

Officials on Sunday said that they have been verifying the video and the people in it. “We are verifying the contents and will be filing an FIR under section 295 of the IPC,” said SDPO Nehru Park, Zaheer Abbas.

Political leaders and religious groups have condemned the act after the video became viral on social media on Saturday. They urged the administration for strict enforcement of the ban on public consumption of alcohol.

National Conference chief spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq condemned “the vulgar acts of tourists drinking alcohol on a shikara on the Dal Lake”. “Under the garb of ‘Kashmir Badal Raha Hai’, the government must remember that such behaviour is not acceptable here. A modern society doesn’t dance vulgarly on the streets or drink in public,” Sadiq said.

“These acts must end under the guise of tourism. The Jammu and Kashmir administration must strictly enforce laws banning public drinking. Our hospitable people respect tourists, but un-Islamic and unethical actions will not be acceptable,” he said.

Democratic Progressive Azad Party chief spokesperson Salman Nizami also said that consuming alcohol openly in a Shikara, “in the land of Sufism – Kashmir, is unacceptable”.

“Such behaviour spoils our culture and society. I have forwarded the clip to the concerned SDPO Nehru Park. Strict action must be taken against these tourists,” he said while tagging Srinagar Police.

Muttahida Majlise-e-Ulama (MMU), a representative body of various religious and educational institutions of Jammu and Kashmir led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, also expressed serious concern over the viral video.

“MMU strongly condemns this act and the fact that it has been allowed to take place in Kashmir. While public consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited under the law, why and how it has been allowed is a matter of worry,” it said in a statement.

“The people of Kashmir are hospitable and respect tourists visiting the Valley as guests. However, such un-Islamic and unethical practices will not be tolerated in the Muslim majority valley which is the land of saints and Sufis,” it said.

The MMU appealed to hotel owners, houseboat owners and shikara owners to stay away from indulging in this practice while also urging the tourists to respect the moral and religious ethos of Kashmir.

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