Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma reaches Shopian to begin dialogue
The Centre’s interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, on Thursday began a tour of three districts in an area considered the hotbed of militancy, as part of his mission to start a dialogue that could potentially end a decades-long insurgency in the state.
Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau chief who was last year appointed the Centre’s special representative, began his tour from Shopian and will cover Anantnag and Kulgam, officials said.
Sharma spent the day in Shopian and met several delegations comprising representatives, among others, of passenger vehicle drivers, SC/ST communities and family members of a policeman killed in militant attack.
“My meetings went fine. I met around 18-20 delegations. I am next going to Anantnag and Kulgam,” Sharma said over phone. What transpired in the meetings was not made public.
Official sources, however, said relatives of three civilians killed in army firing on protesters last month did not meet Sharma.
He is expected to meet other delegations in Anantnag on Friday.
Sharma has been undertaking a series of visits across the state, meeting cross-sections of people, in an attempt to conduct a sustained dialogue.
Last November, too, Sharma had toured some parts of south Kashmir, one of the most radicalised parts of the Valley were anti-India sentiments run deep.