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J&K: Interlocutors meet editors, delegations in Srinagar

By Mukhtar Ahmad
Last updated on: October 24, 2010 22:09 IST

The three-member team of interlocutors Sunday visited the Srinagar central jail, met the state police chief and the local editors besides a delegation of tribals.

The three interlocutors – noted journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and information commissioner M M Ansari arrived ii Srinagar on Saturday for the first time after their appointment as interlocutors on a four day long visit.

In the high security central jail, the team met the detainees mostly youth detained during the recent unrest in Kashmir.They later met the state director general of police, Kuldeep Khuda who had hosted a lunch for them.

The interlocutors this morning met the editors of two prominent local newspapers and interacted with them."We are here to listen and listen very carefully to everyone who meets us," Padgaonkar told the editors.

A delegation of Gujjar community also met the team of interlocutors and spoke of their problems. The community demanded a separate 'Pir Panchal Region' and a tribal hill council in Jammu and Kashmir for them.  

The team is scheduled to call on the state governor N N Vohra this evening who is hosting a dinner for them. Vohra it may be mentioned had acted as an interlocutor on Kashmir during the United Progressive Alliance's first term.

Padgaonkar while interacting with media here yesterday had said that the team was here 'to address all angles of the political dispute of Kashmir'. He had also told newsmen that 'for a permanent resolution of Kashmir, the involvement of Pakistan was necessary'.

The appointment of interlocutors was the chief components of an eight point initiative announced after an all party delegation headed by the home minister, P. Chidambaram visited the state last month in the wake of a three month long unrest that has so far claimed 111 lives and left hundreds others wounded, some still recuperating in the various hospitals here.

The hard-line and the moderate All Parties Hurriyat Conference groups have already said they will not meet the interlocutors as 'it would be a futile exercise'.

Padgaonkar said the team would initially stay here for four days, but added that 'it will be visiting the state every month'.

As part of the eight point initiative, the state authorities had recently ordered removal of 16 bunkers and review of the cases of detenues held under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA).

The state government has also ordered grant of cash relief of five lakh each to the kin of those who were killed in the over four month long unrest.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar