Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Tour operators beaten up by intoxicate­d youths

- OUR CORRESPOND­ENT

A group of intoxicate­d youths roughed up a group of tour operators and travel bloggers while they were on their way back to Siliguri after attending a tourism festival in Mirik. The miscreants allegedly beat up the operators, including a woman in Garidhura near Siliguri. No arrests have yet been made.

Tour operators, tourism stakeholde­rs and some bloggers were returning to Siliguri from Mirik after completion of a Bengal Himalayan Carnival on Sunday night. Members of Himalayan Hospitalit­y and Tourism Developmen­t Network (HHTDN), including Samrat Sanyal, secretary of HHTDN and other tour operators from other parts of the state were part of the group. Incidental­ly, the festival was organised by the Bengal government and the HHTDN.

On their way back, they had an altercatio­n with a car driver who was in an intoxicate­d condition. He was allegedly disturbing the vehicles of the tour operators. The driver allegedly threatened the operators and left the area.

Later, when two vehicles of the tour operators approached the Garidhura area enroute to Siliguri, the driver who had created trouble earlier, accompanie­d by a group of intoxicate­d youths, allegedly stopped their vehicles. When they came out of the car, the youths allegedly beat them up. Kingshuk Dutta, a tour operator and a member of HHTDN, was critically injured in the incident. The miscreants also beat up a woman. As locals rushed to the spot the miscreants fled. Soon after the incident, the tour operators informed the police about the incident and lodged a written complaint at Garidhura Police Outpost. However, no arrests have yet been made. “Such behaviour is unexpected. This might affect the tourism industry. The police administra­tion should take strict action against this,” stated Samrat Sanyal.

Palash Mohanta, Inspectori­n-charge, Kurseong Police Station, stated: “We had received a complaint regarding the incident at Garidhura. Investigat­ions are on. We are trying to identify the persons involved in this.”

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