November 2017 News

Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma Terms His Interactions In Kashmir As 'good', To Visit Anantnag On Tuesday

27 November 2017
The New Indian Express
Fayaz Wani

Srinagar: The Central government's interlocutor on Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma on Monday described his interactions with people in Valley as 'good and frank' and said he would be spending Tuesday in volatile Anantnag district of south Kashmir. 'I had good interaction with delegations, who met me in Srinagar today,' Sharma told New Indian Express. 61-year-old Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau chief, stayed at Hari Niwas, here and over 20 delegations including students from Kashmir university, 2014 flood victims, Radio Kashmir employees, State government employees, Peace Front Kupwara, Khadi Gram Udyog Federation and some individuals called on him. When asked what were the issued raised by the delegations, Sharma said, 'I can't disclose it. I can't say anything on this'. He said he would be travelling to south Kashmir's Anantnag district tomorrow and interact with the people there. Sharma would also be spending the night in Anantnag. Anantnag alongwith three other districts of South Kashmir including Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian have emerged as militancy strongholds and out of 200-220 militants present in the Valley 100-120 are active in south Kashmir region. The south Kashmir region was also the epicenter of last year's unrest following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8, 2016. Burhan, 21, hailed from Tral area of south Kashmir's Pulwama district and was killed in an encounter in Bamdoora area of Anantnag district, also in south Kashmir. Sharma had visited Pulwama yesterday and interacted with over a dozen delegations including all women group. Describing his interaction with people in Pulwama as 'very nice and frank', Sharma said lots of boys and girls met him. He, however, refused to share details about issues raised by the youth. Most of the youth and delegation, who met him in Pulwama on Sunday, had demanded release of the arrested youth, end to security forces 'highhandedness and harassment' and holding of talks with the separatist leadership, sources said. It remains to be seen whether Sharma would reach out to the separatist leaders, who have refused to meet him during his first visit to the State. The traders and civil society members in Kashmir had also refused to meet Sharma during his first visit as interlocutor to the State. Sharma would return to national capital on Wednesday after wrapping-up his five day-visit to the State. It is his second visit to the state after being appointed as interlocutor by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on October 23 for holding sustained dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir