`Interlocutors backing separatists by opposing flag hoisting`

Kashmiri Pandits Thursday alleged that the contention of Kashmir interlocutors that BJP should reconsider its plan to hoist the national flag in Srinagar`s Lal Chowk on Republic Day supported the agenda of separatists.

Last Updated: Jan 20, 2011, 16:20 PM IST

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 Thursday 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.

PTI