Dineshwar Sharma visits Kupwara district
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Dineshwar Sharma visits Kupwara district

It is the third visit of Dineshwar Sharma — a former head of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) — to the state after his appointment by the Centre to start a multilayered, sustained dialogue to address the Kashmir problem.

india Updated: Dec 25, 2017 23:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Dineshwar Sharma during his visit in Jammu.(HT Photo)

The Centre’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma on Monday visited the border district of Kupwara as part of his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.

It is the third visit of Sharma — a former head of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) — to the state after his appointment by the Centre to start a multilayered, sustained dialogue to address the Kashmir problem.

Sharma reached Kupwara district in the afternoon. According to local authorities, Sharma met around 30 delegations at the Kupwara Dak Bungalow. The delegations included many youth groups.

Local journalists said authorities did not allow them to enter the Dak Bungalow where Sharma’s meetings were being held.

Among the first to meet Sharma was the family of cab driver Asif Iqbal Bhat, who was allegedly killed by the Army earlier this month during an encounter.

The family members, who were called by the district administration to meet Sharma, conveyed their anger over Bhat’s killing.

Bhat was seriously injured after being hit by a bullet in Thandipora in Kralpora area of the Kupwara district and was shifted to a hospital. He later succumbed to his injuries.

Police has lodged an FIR in the Police Station Kralpora and an investigation has been launched. However, the Army has maintained that the deceased was caught in a cross-fire between troops and militants.

The other delegations apprised Sharma, the former director of Intelligence Bureau, about the problems faced by them during heightened tension along the Line of Control or during a cordon off by security forces and search operations carried out by the Army.

Employment, lack of power supply and non-availability of food grains especially during the winter months also figured during the discussions with Sharma.

The Centre’s representative had announced earlier that he will be travelling to the Valley during the harsh winters. Tomorrow he is expected to meet people in Baramulla in north Kashmir.

Speaking to media, Firdous Ahmad of Langate area in Kupwara said he talked about revocation of controversial laws like ASFPA. “We told him peace will only come when Delhi leaves its arrogance. When those committing human rights violations are punished, people will feel secure and peace will prevail,” Ahmad said.

A 1979-batch former Indian Police Service officer, Sharma is believed to have a clear understanding of the problems faced by the people in Kashmir, thanks to his stint in the IB.

He has so far not directly engaged with separatist leaders, although some media reports said Sharma met senior separatist leader Abdul Gani Bhat during his last visit to the Valley. Bhat, however, denied the reports.

Senior separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik have dismissed the possibility of engaging in a dialogue with Sharma, describing the entire process as an “eyewash by the Indian government”.

First Published: Dec 25, 2017 23:04 IST