The government of India's "special representative" for a dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma met around 13 delegations in Baramulla on Tuesday, but some prominent associations refused to have a dialogue with him.
A source said that the Baramulla bar association and traders' federation stayed away from meeting Sharma, who is on his third visit to the state after being appointed as an interlocutor to hold a dialogue with various sections of the society in Kashmir.
Advocate Abdus Salam Rather, president of the Baramulla bar association, said that meeting Sharma was a "futile exercise aimed to engage people without any conclusive outcome."
In the past, several such exercises had been carried out by the government of India but their fate turned out to be just "waywardness at the end of the day."
"In the past, several interlocutors were appointed on Kashmir, but the reports of those interlocutors were not even discussed. We cannot be part of such a meaningless exercise," Rather said.
Beopar Mandal Baramulla, a prominent trade organisation in the district, also abstained from meeting Sharma. Its general secretary said: "People have given us the mandate to work for the welfare, development and betterment of the traders' community only."
"We appeal to the government of India and the state government, as well as the interlocutor Sharma, to initiate talks with Hurriyat Conference and other political groups to resolve the Kashmir issue once for all," he said.
The delegations of political parties that met the interlocutor include People's Democratic Party and Youth Congress. However, the major opposition party National Conference stayed away.
Sharma also met other delegations including some college students from Baramulla.
Shabnam Qayoom, a student from degree college Uri told Greater Kashmir that "we conveyed to the interlocutor our problems that we face as students in the border town."
"We told the interlocutor that students from Salamabad and its adjoining villages are disembarked from buses in the name of security and residents of more than a dozen villages are barred to visit their areas after 7 pm from the Uri traffic check-post," she said.
She said that they also apprised Sharma about "negligible" representation of unemployed youth from Uri in two major power projects run by the NHPC in Baramulla district.
Bhawani Shankar of Sanatam Dharam Sabha Baramulla said that all those Pandit traders who returned in 1996 are "facing the most difficult time in the absence of proper accommodation."
He said that 29 families of Pandits in Baramulla town returned in 1996.
"Of these, 10 families are still living along with the majority community in Baramulla. However, each family is forced to stay in a single room in a local temple," Shankar, who met Sharma, said.