Former Interlocutors gheroed, frced to flee for one hour

Former Interlocutors gheroed, frced to flee for one hour

2 September 2012
The Daily Excelsior


Jammu: The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) disrupted the meeting of two former Interlocutors-Dileep Padgaonkar and Prof Radha Kumar for more than one hour as they gheroed them and tried to physically manhandle them outside the hotel Fortune Inn Riviera, the venue of the meeting this morning. Majority of political parties including ruling National Conference, Congress, BJP, National Panthers Party, Jammu State Morcha and a host of other political, religious and social organisations didnít attend the meeting called by the former Interlocutors from 10 am to 2 pm on behalf of Delhi Study Group. While BJP, NPP, JSM and their affiliated organisations had announced boycott of the inter-active meeting convened by the Interlocutors, the NC, and Congress leaders and seven rebel BJP MLAs didnít attend it. Only few retired Professors and industrialists besides a couple of political leaders attended the meeting, official sources said. As soon as the former Interlocutors arrived at the meeting venue at 9.35 am, the BJYM activists rushed towards their vehicle and tried to forcibly open the doors and drag them out. However, the drivers immediately locked doors of the official vehicles from inside. Shouting slogans against the former Interlocutors, the BJYM activists made a desperate attempt to drag out and manhandle them but didnít succeed. In the meantime, the drivers managed to speed away the vehicles from the spot. The former Interlocutors were forced to flee from the spot. Later, senior police officers reached the venue and traced the Interlocutors, who had been driven towards cremation ground side towards a safer area and brought them back to the hotel under tight security arrangements. By then, the police had also dispersed the BJYM activists from the spot. BJYM state president Munish Sharma and BJP leader Ravinder Raina described the report submitted by the former Interlocutors as 'anti-nationalíí and declared that such a report wouldnít be tolerated. They demanded that such persons shouldnít be allowed to enter Jammu as their visit could vitiate the peaceful atmosphere. 'The stake holders of Jammu have been ignored while persons like Syed Ali Shah Geelani have been encouraged in the reportíí, Mr Raina said. All major political parties, religious and social organisations and Intellectuals stayed away from the meeting of the former Interlocutors in Jammu. While BJP, NPP and JSM and their wings had announced boycott of the former Interlocutors, seven BJP rebels too didnít attend their meeting. Ruling coalition partners-NC and Congress too stayed away from the meeting. While PCC (I) spokesman Ravinder Sharma, MLC said they were busy in the party rally at Gharota, NC provincial president Rattan Lal Gupta said their leaders were touring Rajouri. Sources said some former Professors, industrialists and political leaders, who attended the meeting, were of the view that there was no roadmap in report of the former Interlocutors to address discrimination with Jammu region, which was going on since 1947. Meanwhile, asserting that their stay in Jammu and Kashmir was highly productive this time, former Interlocutors today said that they had gathered extremely important inputs during an interaction with various delegations here. 'Our meetings with the different sections are in progress and we will be meeting few of them tomorrow but so far, we have received important feedback on situation in Jammu and Kashmir vis-√†-vis on report submitted to the Union Home Ministry,' veteran journalist and former Interlocutor Dilip Padgaonkar told reporters in a brief chat. Mr Padgaonkar flanked by academician Prof Radha Kumar, yesterday arrived here from Kashmir to get feedback on Kashmir report submitted to the then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on October 2011. He said this time they had a very productive stay in Jammu as compared to their previous visits adding, 'the meeting is very confidential and at the moment we cannot disclose anything.' On his reaction to the protest of activists of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Mr Padgaonkar said, 'we are living in a democracy and everybody has the right to express his voice.' He, however, said they (BJYM) should not have adopted violent mode to lodge their protest as it could have also been done non-violently. BSP president Tulsi Dass Langeh said he raised the issue of citizenship rights to PoK and West Pakistan refugees. All India Backward Classes Union, Social general secretary Prof Kali Dass said they thanked former Interlocutors for proposing enhancement of reservation from 2 per cent to 27 per cent, creamy layer from 3 lakh to 9 lakh , issuance of only one certificate on the name of OBC instead of OSC, abolishing income criteria for OBC studentsí scholarships and reservation in both Houses of Legislature.