Mussoorie: Our summer of discontent

Scenes from the incident with tourists

Mussoorie, 17th June. Images of inebriated tourists being beaten by irate Municipal employees for entering the Mall without paying the stipulated entry fee went viral within minutes. It has done more damage to Mussoorie’s already floundering season.

For the past few weeks, hoteliers and shopkeepers have been busy venting their ire on social media for the lack of tourists, empty rooms and a deserted Mall. This  recent incident is like the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. It highlights the fall-out between police and the municipal employees.

Mussoorie Chairman, Anuj Gupta opine:   “Unfortunate what happened. Perhaps it was the heat of the moment and I am doing my level best to resolve these issues.”

Sadly enough, unfortunate incidents like these sometimes happen due to bruised egos. Road rage is not just restricted to drivers and does afflict the whole town. Maybe it is high time to take a second look at the tourism paradigm.

Local resident Alok Melhotra, speaks for all, when he says, Populism is no the solution. No one has the right to take law into their own hands. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Law is equal for everybody. Mob lynching can sometimes turn fatal as seen elsewhere in the recent past.”

Refuting claims in some sections of the media, that the SHO Mussoorie Bhawna Kaithola was being sent on forced leave following the incident, SSP Dehradun, Nivedita Kukreti updates us: “Bhawna is very much there. She is undertaking an investigation. There is no leave or anything along those lines.” She added that whatever action was taken by her was well within the purview of law.

Speaking about the fallout between the Municipality and local police about the handling of the issue, Sandeep Sawhney, President Uttarakhand Hotel Association says: “Its unfortunate that there has been a fallout between the Police and Nagar Palika over the issue. They compliment one another, so there has to be a system of working together of the two sides of the same coin for the betterment of our town and its tourism.”

Unfortunately, in this season of discontent, Mussoorie is the only looser.