Report of the 3-member panel of interlocutors on Jammu & Kashmir submitted

In October 2010, Government of India had appointed a group of three interlocutors to hold sustained dialogue with all sections of the people in Jammu and Kashmir. They were as follows:

  • Dr. Dileep Padgaonkar: Dr. ileep Padgaonkar is a journalist, editor and author. He worked in various capacities in journalistic field including Executive Editor and Editor of the Times of India..
  • Prof. M.M. Ansari: Prof. M.M. Ansari was Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission, New Delhi. He has the background of an Economist and Education Specialist and has served several institutions in senior positions and provided research and consultancy service to national and international organizations
  • Prof. (Mrs) Radha Kumar: Prof. (Mrs) Radha Kumar is Director of the Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Jamia Millia Islamia University and trustee of the Delhi Policy Group..

The interlocutors are a part of an 8 point programme of the centre. This 8 point programme is as follows:

  1. A group of interlocutors, which would include eminent citizens, would be appointed to hold dialogue with all sections of society of J&K, including youth, students, political parties and separatists.
  2. All youth detained for charges like stone pelting would be released. The Home Minister clarified that all 245 youth, who are currently detained or arrested would be released. He strongly rejected reports that thousands of youth were currently in prisons.
  3. Centre will request J&K government to review cases of Public Safety Act(PSA) detainees and withdraw detention cases.
  4. Centre will give Rs 5 lakh as relief money to family of victims who have died in clashes with the security forces during the unrest.
  5. A task force each would be set up for both Jammu and Laddakh to assess implications of the situation in Kashmir in these two regions. It will also examine the developmental needs of the two regions, with particular reference to deficiencies in infrastructure and make suitable recommendations.
  6. The Centre will request the state government to re-open all schools and colleges in the state. Special classes or lectures, to be held if necessary to ensure that the examinations for the current academic year (2010-11) are conducted.
  7. Additionally, Rs 100 crore of central grant would be given to rebuild infrastructure for schools and colleges including classrooms, libraries, playgrounds etc.
  8. Unified Command Meet to be held to review of provisions of Disturbed Area Act. . There would be de-scaling of barricades and check points to ease movement of civilians in public areas.

The group of 3 interlocutors was supposed to prepare a roadmap for settling the Kashmir issue. The report has been submitted recently to Home Ministry. The panel suggests meaningful autonomy, speedy development and a massive economic package, but the report fails to placate the common Kashmiri. Here are some of the points collected from various news sources (as we could not locate report in public domain).

  • It recommended the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the Disturbed Areas Act from the state that has seen a murderous insurgency for over two decades.
  • While avoiding the “pre-1952 status” phraseology, the report speaks about ensuring “meaningful autonomy” for the state, while preserving its distinct regional and ethnic diversities.
  • There is a reported recommendation to form regional councils separately for Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir. The panel has suggested solutions for economic growth and addressing the socio-cultural concerns of the 3 areas of the state.
  • The Team met 600 delegations in 22 districts of the state in addition to conducting 3 round table conferences with women activists and scholars to seek their outlook on the issue.
  • The panel is believed to have recommended decentralization of powers to Panchayti Raj institutions in the state.

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