Sharma meets 28 delegations in Anantnag amid tight security

Sharma meets 28 delegations in Anantnag amid tight security

Anantnag, Nov 28: Centre-appointed interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma on Tuesday met 28 delegations, including students, members of civil society and political workers, in south Kashmir district of Anantnag amid tight security.
Sharma – who is a former Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief – is on second visit to the Valley after being appointed as an interlocutor for Kashmir by the Centre to initiate a meaningful dialogue process with all stakeholders.
Official sources said that Sharma reached Anantnag from Srinagar on Tuesday and met various delegations at Khanabal Dak Bunglow. “As many as 28 delegations, including students, civil societies and political workers, met Sharma Tuesday from various parts of Anantnag,” they said.
The deputations sought various initiatives by the Centre and state government, ranging from initiating dialogue with separatists to take steps to rehabilitate youth by providing them job or financial assistance so that they could set up their own business.
They said south Kashmir, which witnessed major encounters and protests, is the focus of Sharma during the second leg of his visit to the Valley. South Kashmir was the most affected area in the Valley during 2016 unrest after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces.
Sharma on the first day of his visit to the valley on Sunday met several deputations in south Kashmir district of Pulwama. On Monday, the interlocutor met various delegations — including Kashmir University students, members from Voice of Youth — at Hari Niwas in Srinagar.
The interlocutor on November 24 and November 25 met a number of delegations besides Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti at winter capital, Jammu.
Sharma had during his maiden visit to the valley early this month said that he will try his level best to bring separatists onboard. However, the interlocutor could not make any headway as most of the trade unions and civil society leaders and separatists stayed away.
However, days before his second visit to the valley, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti announced withdrawal of cases against first-time stone-pelters or offenders in the Kashmir valley.
The development had come after the Centre advised the Jammu and Kashmir government to withdraw cases against about 4,500 youth, who are first-time offenders or stone-pelters.
The advice was given by the Centre on the recommendations of Sharma, who is trying to woo the people to initiate a dialogue process. But, so far, no separatist leader has met Sharma.