Sharma visits Pandit camps in Jammu

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 25 Nov 2017 09:59:15


By Sumir Kaul

JAMMU,

Nov 24,

(PTI),

THE Centre’s special envoy on Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, on Friday visited Jagti area here, the largest township of the displaced Kashmiri Pandits, and met people to understand their problems. 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. Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau chief, was appointed the Centre’s interlocutor on October 23 to hold talks with all stakeholders in an effort to find lasting peace in parts of Kashmir.

Around 60,000 Kashmiri Pandit families migrated in 1990 after the onset of militancy. Of these, 39,000 families based themselves in various camps in Jammu. Sharma will also visit the “ground zero” of unrest in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Anantnag districts, they said. The high point of his visit will be his interactions with youths and students in Pulwama and Anantnag, the officials added. These districts were the epicentre of unrest following the encounter killing of Hizbul Mujahideen’s poster boy Burhan Wani on July 8 last year.

Pulwama also earned the notorious distinction of being the nerve centre of militancy with anti-insurgency operations being launched on a war footing in the area. After his first visit to Kashmir Valley, Sharma suggested that cases against 4,500 youths involved in stone pelting for the first time be dropped in a bid to win hearts. Over 11,500 cases against stone pelters have been registered since July last year following Wani’s death. Of these, over 4,500 youths were first-time stone pelters.