Jammu and Kashmir interlocutors Dileep Padgaonkar and Radha Kumar, who are at the centre of a controversy over their foreign travel after being appointed mediators, met Union home minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday.
Both later said the meeting was not in the context of questions raised about their foreign visits by their third colleague, MM Ansari. But they emphasised they were ready to go public with details of their foreign travel under the RTI Act.
Ansari, who had spoken out against his colleagues over their participation in conferences abroad organised by outfits suspected of being linked to Pakistan’s spy agency ISI in 2005, had later asked them to declare details of all conferences attended by them before and after their appointment as interlocutors.
Padgaonkar had told HT on Tuesday he was ready to go public with the details.
After meeting the home minister, Radha Kumar said she was always ready to respond to the RTI request (that information sought about their foreign travel details).
“It (controversy) is a closed chapter,” she said, echoing Padgaonkar’s words after the meeting.
Padgaonkar, who insisted he hadn’t allowed the controversy to distract him from the primary objective of drafting the final report, to be submitted by September-end, said Chidambaram did not refer to the controversy but discussed the report.
“I am going to draft the report and share it with my two colleagues for their comments,” he said.
Asked why Ansari hadn’t been invited, Padgaonkar hinted he should have been there. “There must have been some communication gap,” he said.
However, Ansari wondered how this was possible, pointing out that there was no question of a gap since “I have been in office all day”.
“The purpose of the meeting is not clear to me and it is quite early or premature for me to say anything at this stage.”