Srinagar: The Government of India’s new point-man for Kashmir will land in Srinagar on Monday, with “special arrangements” for his stay – at a location not disclosed by authorities so far.
“There are adequate arrangements in place,” one officer said. “Let us wait and Sharma will himself choose the place for his stay. A list of several places has been prepared for his possible stay.”
High-profile guests and officials are usually hosted in the high-security zone of Gupkar and Zabarwan hills, but Sharma’s security detail is still being kept under wraps.
Sharma’s stay is likely to stretch over the week.
At least two pro-India politicians told Kashmir Reader that they have just been informed about the visit.
“I received a call inviting me for the meeting but no information about the time or venue was given,” a legislator said.
A senior police officer said that Sharma will be given ‘Z’ security cover throughout his stay in the state. “He is a top official appointed by GoI and detailed security arrangements have been made,” the official said.
A source said that a contingent of at least 15 CRPF personnel led by an officer will be providing security cover to Sharma, along with a special police team.
“Whatever security measures are needed, they have been taken for the visit of Dineshwar Sharma,” said Kashmir Range Inspector-General of Police Munir Ahmad Khan.
The joint resistance leadership (JRL) of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik has already rejected the possibility of having a dialogue with Dineshwar Sharma, a former chief of the Intelligence Bureau who has served in Kashmir during early years of militancy in the 1990s.
The visit of Sharma has gained significance after the GoI and the state government have said that he can hold talks with anyone, even the “separatist” Hurriyat Conference.
Welcoming Sharma’s appointment, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has said that dialogue is the need of the hour. “To stop guns, everyone must talk,” she has said.
Meanwhile a list of individuals and organisations has been prepared by the state government to make them meet the interlocutor.