Former Kashmir Interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma Dead

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New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir interlocutor and administrator of Lakshadweep Dineshwar Sharma, who earlier headed the Intelligence Bureau, died at a Chennai hospital on Friday following a severe lung disease, officials said.

Sharma, 66, was recently shifted from the national capital to a Chennai hospital for specialised treatment of the lungs where he breathed his last on Friday morning, they said.

A statement released by the MGM hospital in Chennai said Sharma, a 1979 batch IPS officer, had been admitted on November 25 for interstitial lung disease.

He was admitted with Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support, a treatment whereby blood is circulated through an artificial lung back into the bloodstream.

Sharma, 66, suffered “severe bleeding due to intra cerebral haemorrhage. With profound grief, we regret to inform that he passed away at 2.40 PM,” a statement from the hospital said.

The former Intelligence Bureau chief was appointed as special representative for a “sustained dialogue” with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir in 2017 with an aim to bring peace to the troubled state.

Sharma’s journey as the Centre’s pointsman on Kashmir came to an abrupt end after the Centre abrogated special status to the erstwhile state and divided it into two union territories in August 2019.

In October last year he was posted as Administrator of the Lakshawadeep, a post which had remained vacant after his predecessor Farooq Khan was posted as advisor to the then JK governor Satya Pal Malik in July 2019.

President Ram Nath Kovind expressed condolences on his demise, saying the news of his death was shocking. “An outstanding police officer, Shri Sharma’s expertise in internal security was particularly noteworthy. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah also condoled Sharma’s death.

“Administrator of Lakshadweep Shri Dineshwar Sharma Ji made long lasting contributions to India’s policing and security apparatus. He handled many sensitive counter terror and insurgency ops during his policing career. Anguished by his demise. Condolences to his family. Om Shanti,” Modi tweeted.

In his tweet, Shah said: “Deeply anguished to learn about the passing away of Administrator of Lakshadweep Shri Dineshwar Sharma ji. He served the nation with utmost devotion as a dedicated officer of the Indian Police Service. My heartfelt condolences to his family in this hour of grief. Om Shanti”.

Belonging to the Kerala cadre, Sharma had long-standing expertise on working on the Kashmir desk of the Intelligence Bureau.

Known among his friends and colleagues as a very “soft spoken gentleman”, Sharma during his tenure as the Centre’s pointsman had made several visits to Kashmir and Jammu regions for ensuring peace in the restive state.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah also expressed condolences on his passing away, saying he “was a wise and sensible man who understood Kashmir. Unfortunately he was an interlocutor for a government that wasn’t interested in listening but that isn’t a reflection of either his efforts or his abilities. I’m sorry to hear of his untimely demise….”

PDP chief and another former JK chief minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed shock by his sudden demise. “He was a thorough gentleman and as an interlocutor tried his best to restore bridges of trust and goodwill between people of JK and the rest of the nation,” she tweeted.

Sharma was appointed as Director Intelligence Bureau in December 2014 for a fixed two-year term. Post-retirement, he was appointed as an interlocutor for talks with Assam-based insurgent groups and also headed a committee to restructure the Home Ministry.

J&K LG grieved at demise of Sharma

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has expressed grief over the sad demise of the Administrator of Lakshadweep, Dineshwar Sharma.

“I am saddened by the untimely demise of Shri Dineshwar Sharma. He was an able administrator who worked with great determination and utmost dedication to serve the nation”, the Lt Governor said.

The Lt Governor prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul and offered his deepest condolences to the bereaved family members & well-wishers.

 

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