Summer rush in sight, Dharamshala’s tourism industry bats for increased vigil - Hindustan Times
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Summer rush in sight, Dharamshala’s tourism industry bats for increased vigil

By, Dharamshala
Mar 28, 2024 08:54 AM IST

Stakeholders in Dharamshala call for increased vigilance after tourist's murder, citing lack of security measures. Three more arrested in connection with the incident.

In view of the Punjab-based tourist’s murder in Bhagsunag near Dharamshala, stakeholders have called for increased vigil in the region as it heads towards the busy season.

Stakeholders push for setting up more police posts, bring Dharamshala’s tourist spots under CCTV surveillance. (Bloomberg)
Stakeholders push for setting up more police posts, bring Dharamshala’s tourist spots under CCTV surveillance. (Bloomberg)

Representatives from the Hotel and Restaurant Association Dharamshala, Taxi Union Mcleodganj, Adventure and Tour Operators Association Dharamshala and other pertinent bodies met to discuss the security issues and will convey their concerns and suggestions to the district and police administration.

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One of the major concerns highlighted by the representative was the lack of CCTV cameras at Bhagsunag parking and along the route to the namesake temple, despite it being a prominent tourist destination.

They also condemned the incident. Last week, a tourist from Punjab’s Phagwara was beaten to death at a coffee shop in Bhagsunag near Dharamshala. He was beaten to death by a mob of locals, including the coffee shop owner.

Hotel and Restaurant Association president Ashwani Bamba emphasised on the need to ensure security of the tourists, especially from neighbouring states, who he described as the backbone of the economy of Dharamshala. “It’s our duty to extend due courtesies and cooperation to the visiting tourist and under no circumstances; we should resort to assault and violence. It’s our duty to isolate such elements and create an atmosphere where the tourist feels safe and secure,” he said.

Taxi union president Ashok said multiple taxi operators over which the taxi union has no control are often found engaging in quarrelsome behaviour with tourists. “It was observed that at a time hundreds of taxis are parked at a small tourist parking lot at Bhagsunag, leaving no space for the tourist vehicles to ply, which often leads to heated arguments. It was unanimously decided that only 15/20 taxies be allowed to park at a designated car parking,” he said.

Meanwhile, Adventure Association president Akash Nehria requested for a police post to be set up at Bhagsunag and patrolling to instil a fear of law in the minds of troublemakers.

Three more arrested

Meanwhile, Kangra police have arrested three other people in connection with the murder. Five accused had earlier been arrested after a case was registered on the complaint of the deceased’s brother Harmanpreet Singh.

“The arrested persons also include the owner of the coffee shop where the incident took place. Further investigation is underway,” said a senior police official.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Dar Ovais is the Dharamshala-based correspondent in the Himachal Pradesh bureau of Hindustan Times. He covers politics, tourism, Tibetan affairs and environmental issues.

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