Sharma, Mehbooba Discuss Amnesty To First Time Offenders

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Jammu—The central government’s interlocutor on Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma Friday called on the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti at her official residence here after he began the second leg of his visit to the state to hold talks with the stakeholders.

Sources said Mehbooba told him that the state government has acted on his recommendation to the Home Ministry for withdrawing cases against the first time stone pelters.

An official said since the seat of governance is in Jammu, Sharma arrived in the winter capital yesterday afternoon.

He said Sharma would be staying for four days in the state and would be meeting many delegations of political, apolitical groups, NGOs, civil society members, traders, youth, women, etc.

“Sharma briefed the CM about the schedule of deliberations during his stay in the State,” the official said.

Sharma later visited the migrant Kashmiri Pandits’ camp in Jammu’s Jagti area.

He visited several households in the area where people apprised him of their problems, officials said.

Sharma, who visited Srinagar and Jammu earlier this month, will be in the state for the next four days.

The officials said that Sharma would also meet people who came from West Pakistan immediately after Partition in 1947 and settled in Jammu. There are nearly three lakh such people.

Besides, he will visit camps housing those displaced from their homes in border villages to understand their plight and ensure that they are properly rehabilitated.

He interacted with the migrant Pandits living in the camp to have the first-hand information about their problems. He was apprised by the displaced Pandits about their demands including setting up of separate townships for the community.

Sources said he would also be visiting the border areas in Jammu today and interacting with the border people, who have been affected by the Pakistani firing and mortar shelling.

On his recommendations, Union Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to reimburse the expenses incurred by the J&K government on damages caused to houses, agriculture and livestock in ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in the State.

As a new initiative, MHA would reimburse the expenditure incurred by the state government for providing relief to people affected by cross-border firing at rates equal to NDRF guidelines.

Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau chief, was appointed as interlocutor by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on October 23 to hold sustained dialogue with all stakeholders in the State.

Sharma would be arriving in Kashmir on November 26 on the second leg of his 4-day visit.

Sharma has said that he plans to visit militancy infested south Kashmir comprising four districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian.

At least 100-120 militants, according to security officials, are active in the south Kashmir.

The south Kashmir was also the epicentre of last year’s unrest following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.

Sources said Sharma would be interacting with the security officials, youth and political leaders in south Kashmir.

It remains to be seen whether Sharma would be sending an invitation to the separatist leaders, who refused to meet him during his first visit to the State

The traders and civil society members in Kashmir had also refused to meet Sharma during his first visit as an interlocutor to the State.

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