Srinagar: The three-member panel of interlocutors on Kashmir, which is on a four-day tour to the Valley, today went to the central jail in Srinagar. They met the youth in jail - some of them arrested for stone-pelting.
Journalist Dilip Padgaonkar, academician Professor Radha Kumar and Information Commissioner MM Ansari met senior journalists Shujaat Bukhari and Fayaz Ahmad Kaloo on Sunday morning. They also met a delegation of Akhil Bharatiya Gujjar Mahasabha. They are expected to meet the Governor later in the evening, and are also meeting youngsters at a coffee shop today.
Meanwhile the leader of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has said that the appointment of interlocutors will not serve any purpose and he will not meet them.
"Appointment of interlocutor will linger the Kashmir issue... there is no need to form a group... appointment of interlocutors is not going to serve any purpose and we are not going to meet them," said the leader.
The BJP too has hit out at the interlocutors appointed by the Centre in the aftermath of speech given by Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in Delhi. The party has termed the speech as 'seditious' and accused the interlocutors of bending on the Hurriyat lines instead of sorting out the issues in the Valley.
"The extremists come to Delhi and give objectionable speeches verging on sedition. So we think on one hand the separatists are going away scot free and on top of that when a team is going to sort out issues they are further bent on those lines, that is where we want clarifications," said BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman.
With mainstream political parties unhappy with the choice of the three members, and separatists rejecting them outright, the road ahead is difficult. Their real test is to establish their own credentials and convince the people of the state that they can deliver on an issue where politicians and bureaucrats have failed in the past.