Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Minister Naeem Akhtar on Tuesday dimissed the reports of stone-pelting on tourists and said media should desist from spreading fake news which hurt the state's image.
Asserting that J&K was one of the safest tourist destinations in the country, Akhtar urged visitors to ignore the "false reportage" and rather experience the warm hospitality of Kashmiris.
He refuted the claims made by a national daily about stone pelting incident on tourists and called the report "baseless".
"No such incident has taken place anywhere in the state," said Akhtar.
"It seems that the mischief is deliberate to derail the tourism season in the state which has just started picking up. We strongly deny this and the state government will be taking this up with the appropriate authorities and the Press Council of India," said Akhtar.
He appealed to the media fraternity to help Jammu and Kashmir bring back peace into the lives of its people and revive its economy which is majorly dependent on tourism.
"I urge all prominent people at responsible positions to desist from spreading and propagating fake news which is detrimental to the image and interest of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
The minister claimed that J&K had been rated as the most sought-after tourist destination in the country as per a recent survey.
"Kashmiris hold tourists in high regard and tourists who have visited the Valley have experienced warmth from all quarters, especially locals," said Akhtar.
"Jammu and Kashmir was, is, and will continue to be a safe place for tourists from all regions, national and international alike," he said, adding that safety of tourists was a "top priority" for the state government.