Bar Association and traders’ federation boycott
Sopore: The Government of India’s interlocutor for dialogue in J&K, Dineshwar Sharma, visited Baramulla on Tuesday, having spent the previous day meeting people in Kupwara. Amid tight security, Sharma reached Baramulla at about 11:30am. He met 27 delegations during the day at the Dak Bungalow in main Baramulla town.
The delegations included those from youth and students, Kashmiri Pandits, Pahadis, civil society members from Pattan and Baramulla. Every delegation was given a chance to meet Sharma privately.
President of Pandit Association of Baramulla, Virendar Gango, told Kashmir Reader that due to personal reasons he could not be part of the delegation that met Sharma, but the other members reminded Sharma of the promises made by the GoI to Pandits living in the state. “Sharma ji assured us that our issue will be taken to the Centre and action will be taken,” Gago said. The Pandit delegation was given about ten minutes to discuss their issues with Sharma.
The Bar Association and the traders’ federation of Baramulla refused to meet Sharma. President of the district’s Bar Association, Advocate Abdul Salam, said that in the past many such people from India have come to talk to the people of Kashmir but not a single meeting has yielded meaningful results. “These people lack consistency, which proves that these are just time-consuming methods by India towards the Kashmir issue. That’s why we decided to boycott meeting Sharma,” Salam said.
Tariq Ahmad Mangloo, general secretary of the Baramulla traders’ federation, told Kashmir Reader that the trader community had given the federation mandate only to look after trade-related issues. “It is not in our mandate to discuss the issue of Kashmir, which is completely political in nature, so we decided to not meet Sharma,” he said.
“We appeal to the state and central governments, including the appointed interlocutor, to initiate talks with Hurriyat Conference and other political groups in order to resolve the Kashmir issue once for all,” Mangloo added.
On Monday, Sharma met at least 40 delegations in Kupwara, including the family of slain Sumo taxi driver Asif Iqbal.
At the time this story was filled, Sharma had concluded his visit to Baramulla and was about to head back for Srinagar.