Cricket enthusiasts come with bats to demand sport infrastructure, Sikhs ask for minority status
Anantnag: Amid a partial shutdown observed in Tral against his visit, the Modi government’s special representative to Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, met on Thursday 6 delegations in the town that included members of the minority Sikh community, workers of the BJP, advocates, cricket players, and people seeking removal of a paramilitary camp.
Sharma was on his fourth visit to the volatile south Kashmir region and fifth overall to Kashmir valley, since his appointment as the special representative in June last year.
He has previously visited Pulwama, Anantnag, Shopian and Kulgam districts, in that order.
Today’s Tral visit was his second to Pulwama district and first to Tral, which has emerged as a militancy hotbed in the past half-decade.
Elaborate security arrangements were in place for his visit as the locals chose to observe a shutdown against his visit.
Almost all commercial establishments remained closed while traffic remained thin in the town.
Sharma arrived at Town Hall Tral at about 10:30am and left at about 1pm after meeting the handful of delegations. Among the delegations was a group of members from the Sikh community, which sources said were demanding official minority status.
A group of cricketers from Awantipora, who had arrived holding cricket bats, talked to Sharma about lack of cricketing infrastructure in their area.
“He has assured that he will look into our grievance and take necessary action,” the cricketers told media men while they were leaving the venue.
Another delegation of people from Jawbera area of Awantipora went to meet Sharma with the demand that land under CRPF occupation in their area be vacated.
“We are hopeful that he will take action,” the villagers said.