first_imgThe Centre’s Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma’s three-day visit to Srinagar began on a low-key note on Monday, with no major political party or delegation coming forward to meet him. The major trade associations and business chambers also stayed away. Invitations to meet Mr. Sharma were sent out by the Jammu and Kashmir government from the Divisional Commisioner of Srinagar to various delegations. The invitation, a copy of which is available with The Hindu, described Mr. Sharma as “Government of India Representative for peace talks, Ministry of Home Affairs.” However, several young men, representing various organisations, made their way to the Hari Niwas guest house — an erstwhile interrogation centre which is the venue for the talks — trying to evade the waiting media.One of the young men representing youth from border areas, who spoke to the media after his meeting, said he had requested Mr. Sharma to stop the use of pellet guns against civilians. “If they want to win our confidence, the use of pellet guns should stop. Also the cases against young people should be withdrawn. The Centre has to assure us first.” Yasin Poswal, general secretary of the Gujjar Bakkarwal community that has been demanding political reservation, said the Centre’s special representative gave them a patient hearing. “We met Home Minister Rajnath Singh when he came here last time (in September). We placed our demands then and today apprised the special representative of the same. He was more receptive to our demand than the Home Minister,” Mr. Poswal said. On October 23, when Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced Mr. Sharma’s appointment, he had said it was to initiate and “carry forward a dialogue” with the elected representatives, various organizations and concerned individuals in J&K. A senior Home Ministry official said the State government was short-listing delegates who would meet Mr. Sharma. “I will meet everyone with an open mind,” Mr. Sharma said before he began his meetings at around 2.30 p.m. He was able to meet around 10 delegations though invites were sent out to over 15 groups for Monday. Among those who met Mr. Sharma were the Gujjar Bakkarwal community, fruit growers association, Youth Sports Forum Qamarwari, Students Association Pattan, Youth Sports Fraternity, Peace Forum from Ganderbal and Youth Forum Kupwara. Almost the same set of people met Mr. Singh during his previous visits to J&K. A Home Ministry official said around 60 people were expected to meet Mr. Sharma on Monday but only 40 turned up. Mr. Sharma is expected to meet other delegations on Tuesday. He is camping at Hari Singh guesthouse and would be operating from there. Political leaders are expected to meet him on November 8.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *