Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Justice Gita Mittal on Saturday teed off the one-day "Legal Eagle Golf Tournament" at Royal Springs Golf Course (RSGC) here.
The tournament that acts as a platform for the legal fraternity to showcase their golfing skills is an annual affair. It was held for the first time in J&K. The event was organised by the Jammu Kashmir High Court and co-sponsored by the J&K Tourism Department and the J&K Bank.
Around 50 participants including judges, lawyers and other members of the legal fraternity from the Supreme Court, the Delhi High Court and the J&K High Court took to the greens to exhibit their golfing skills. Notable among the participants included Justice GS Sistani, Justice Indermeet Kaur, Justice AK Pathak, Justice Tashi Rabstan, Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Justice (Retd.) Bashir Ahmad Khan, former Advocate General – Altaf Naik and Jahangir Iqbal Ganai, senior advocates of the High Court – U K Jalali, Javed Ahmad Kawoos and Zubair Zargar.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Justice said that the event which is an annual affair, is being held for the first time in Kashmir and hopefully, it will be a great beginning.
"Holding events like these send strong message to the outside world that Kashmir is absolutely safe for travelers and that any event could be held here," Chief Justice said.
"This event has brought Delhi and Srinagar so close that they are walking hand in hand in true spirit of sports and goodwill. It is a union of legal experts. We hope this tradition will continue for a long time," she said.
She also said that many lady senior judges having participated in the tournament would also invite other female golfers to play here.
On the issue of low female participation in golfing events in Kashmir, she said, "As compared to men, lesser number of women golfers participate in golf activity in Kashmir. However, when we move outside the State, women are not far behind. In Kashmir we too have girls like Bilquis Mir who has made J&K proud at international level in sports. Hopefully, in coming times, we may see many more getting involved in golfing activity in J&K as well," she said.
Further, she said that there was a need to highlight the role of the women in the society.
"I interacted with school children recently during a programme and I noticed that young girls are keen to participate in sports and other extra-curricular activities. It is good thing and we should encourage them," she said.
Managing Director, Golf Development and Management Authority, Ghalib Mohiuddin said the event was a high-profile tournament in which senior judges and lawyers were participating and would send across a positive message.
"If we can host high-profile judges and lawyers here who can play here without any security concern and enjoy to the fullest, it would send a positive message across that Kashmir is safe for everybody," he said.
"There is no denying that RSGC is one of the best golf courses not only in India but one of the best in Asia. The negative perception that Kashmir is not safe acts as a deterrent for travelers. However, with the successful conclusion of this tournament, a positive message will go across that this beautiful land is also safe. We are hopeful that tourism, especially, golf tourism will pick up here," he said.
Director Tourism Department, Kashmir, Tasaduq Jeelani said that the department is providing full support and cooperation for the event. Deputy Director Tourism Publicity Reyaz Ahmad Shah was also present on the occasion.