After demanding, for two days, the arrest of chief of the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and writer-activist Arundhati Roy for speaking “the language of sedition” at a discussion, the Bharatiya Janata Party has gone on the offensive against the three-member team of interlocutors for Kashmir appointed by the government.
Party general secretary Anant Kumar on Tuesday accused the interlocutors — journalist Dilip Padgaonkar, Information Commissioner M.M. Ansari and academician Radha Kumar — of “forgetting that they have not been appointed to advocate separatism.”
They are speaking the language of separatists, Mr. Kumar said at a function organised by the BJP Yuva Morcha. He wanted to know who had set the agenda — the Prime Minister and the Home Minister or Mr. Padgaonkar.
Some speakers at the same function criticised Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and said he was forgetting that he was under oath to keep the nation intact. They were referring to Mr. Abdullah's earlier remarks about the nature of J&K's accession to India.
Separately, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar found fault with the interlocutors talking to militants in jails in Kashmir.
“The BJP has no problem with their talking to anyone Indian — hardliners or those adopting a more moderate line — but why are they seeking the opinion of Pakistani militants in Indian jails? What stake do they have in Kashmir?” Mr. Javadekar also felt that for the mission to succeed it should be “discreet and not in-your-face.”