Interlocutors to visit Kashmir again in 10 days (Lead)

November 2nd, 2010 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, Nov 2 (IANS) The team of interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday gave its first report to the government and said they would pay a second visit to the troubled state in another 10 days to gather “grassroots level” views.

The three interlocutors — Dileep Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and M.M. Ansari - briefed Home Minister P. Chidambaram at his office and presented to him their preliminary recommendations on finding a solution to the problems dogging the state that has seen around 110 people killed, mostly in security forces firing on street protesters, since June.

Journalist Padgaonkar later told reporters outside the home ministry office that their report includes some recommendations for resolving the issues in the state.

The team paid a six-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir late last month, meeting many leaders, students and families amid a boycott by separatist leaders in the valley and of political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in Jammu.

“We handed over the report of our first visit to the home minister. It gives our preliminary assessment of the situation as we perceived it.

“We have also given a series of recommendations and suggestions to address the kind of problems that are faced in different regions of the state, and by different sections of the population there,” Padgaonkar said, refusing to divulge details.

He said the team would travel to the state in another 10 days and that would include getting grassroots level views from district headquarters.

“We are now preparing to go back to Jammu and Kashmir. We should be able to travel as early as in 10 days and travel to district headquarters in the state in order to garner opinions from grassroots,” he said.

The three were appointed by the home minister last month for a “serious dialogue to find a political solution” to the problems in the state following a visit by an all-party delegation to the valley.

The interlocutors have a year-long mandate to talk to all shades of political opinion in Kashmir and suggest ways to solve the problem.

Chidambaram Monday praised their efforts saying said they had been successful in changing the discourse of the debate in Kashmir, though he ticked them off for speaking to the media and giving “ball-by-ball” commentary on the process.

“There is a sense of expectation among the people in the state that their concerns are being addressed in a serious manner. The interlocutors have changed the discourse of the debate. We hope that the people in Jammu and Kashmir will now give peace a chance and dialogue a chance,” the home minister said.

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