Interlocutors backing separatists by opposing hoisting

Jammu: Rejecting the contention of Kashmir interlocutors that BJP should reconsider its plan to hoist the national flag in Srinagar`s Lal Chowk on Republic Day, an organisation of Kashmiri Pandits today alleged that the suggestion supported the agenda of separatists in the Valley.

"Their (interlocutors`) suggestion is tantamount to furthering the agenda of the secessionist forces in the Kashmir Valley at the expense of the national cause," Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, president of Panun Kashmir, said here.

"We unanimously reject the contention of the Kashmir interlocutors that hoisting of the national flag by BJP at Lal Chowk, Srinagar, ought to be avoided," he said.

After chairing a meeting of a joint forum of Kashmiri Pandit organisations today to discuss the political scenario, particularly the statements and activities of the Central interlocutors, Chungroo said the opposition to hoist the tricolour cannot be subjected to "political blackmail" by any section of the population.

Dileep Padgaonkar, who heads the team of three interlocutors, had yesterday asked BJP to reconsider its plan to hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Republic Day, fearing it could lead to law and order problems in the Valley.

"If the exercise of the right (to hoist the flag) leads to aggravating tension or to thwarting the dialogue process now underway, it should be seriously reconsidered. This is what we have conveyed to the BJP," he had told a press conference here.

Chrungoo said that any attempt to discourage people from hoisting the national flag in any part of India, especially on Republic Day, was unfortunate.

"The interlocutors have, from their very inception, tried to appease separatist elements in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram`s statement that the interlocutors have changed the discourse of the Kashmir dialogue is far from the truth as their statements have simply emboldened those forces who are bent upon taking the state out of the constitutional and territorial frame work of India, Chungoo alleged.

He also alleged that the mindset of the interlocutors was at complete variance with the nationalist point of view on the Kashmir issue and their various statements were uncalled for as they were creating an unpalatable situation for nationalist elements in the state.

Other participants of the meeting were General Secretary of All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference H L Chatta, D N Kissu, Chairman of Non-Camp Migrant Coordination Committee and Virender Raina, spokesperson of the Joint Forum.

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