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Weeping Farooq in golfing greens

Srinagar: A massive blast outside the state legislature complex here shadowed a significant event - National Golf Championship here which concluded on 7 October. The event that went unnoticed here was, however, on the priority of chief minister Farooq Abdullah who ensured his presence throughout.

On Monday he turned up at the International Royal Spring Golf Course at Cheshmashahi here to participate in the 4th Sher-i-Kashmir Open Golf Tournament, barely hours after the massive blast rocked the assembly complex killing 38 persons, most of them civilians. Two days later, chief minister raised a war cry in the state assembly and was drenched in tears to mourn the death of those killed in the tragic incident. Photographs of weeping Farooq hit the front pages of most of the national and local news papers and the report scored a lead at most of the places. But barely a few hours after sobbing in the assembly, Farooq drove his car straight to the golf course. "He not only visited the spot but also participated in the game", informed sources said. They said chief minister was a member of Rohta Singh’s team which emerged runner’s up in the Pro-Am event on Wednesday. In all 90 golfers from across the country including 10 players from J&K participated in it. At the conclusion of the tournament prizes and trophies were distributed to the winners. Mukesh Kumar and Gaurav Ghai bagged the first and second positions while there was a tie between Gurav Virk and Jyoti Randhava for the third position. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mustafa Kamal, Industries Minister dispelled the criticism from certain quarters that golf course was a wasteful expenditure. He said promotion of such places will give a boost to Tourism sector. Minister said the critics are turning blind eye to the plight of common man whose livelihood is related to the tourism industry. These elements bother for the vested interests only, he said. The tournament, it is worth mentioning, carried awards worth Rs 15 lakhs and the expenses of the players were also met by the state (Kashmir Times News Service).

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