''Interlocutors backing separatists by opposing flag hoisting''

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Jammu, Jan 20 (PTI) Rejecting the contention of Kashmirinterlocutors that BJP should reconsider its plan to hoist thenational flag in Srinagar''s Lal Chowk on Republic Day, anorganisation of Kashmiri Pandits today alleged that thesuggestion supported the agenda of separatists in the Valley.

"Their (interlocutors'') suggestion is tantamount tofurthering the agenda of the secessionist forces in theKashmir Valley at the expense of the national cause," AshwaniKumar Chrungoo, president of Panun Kashmir, said here.

"We unanimously reject the contention of the Kashmirinterlocutors that hoisting of the national flag by BJP at LalChowk, Srinagar, ought to be avoided," he said.

After chairing a meeting of a joint forum of KashmiriPandit organisations today to discuss the political scenario,particularly the statements and activities of the Centralinterlocutors, Chungroo said the opposition to hoist thetricolour cannot be subjected to "political blackmail" by anysection of the population.

Dileep Padgaonkar, who heads the team of threeinterlocutors, had yesterday asked BJP to reconsider its planto hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar onRepublic Day, fearing it could lead to law and order problemsin the Valley.

"If the exercise of the right (to hoist the flag) leadsto aggravating tension or to thwarting the dialogue processnow underway, it should be seriously reconsidered. This iswhat we have conveyed to the BJP," he had told a pressconference here.

Chrungoo said that any attempt to discourage people fromhoisting the national flag in any part of India, especially onRepublic Day, was unfortunate.

"The interlocutors have, from their very inception, triedto appease separatist elements in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram''s statement that theinterlocutors have changed the discourse of the Kashmirdialogue is far from the truth as their statements have simplyemboldened those forces who are bent upon taking the stateout of the constitutional and territorial frame work of India,Chungoo alleged.

He also alleged that the mindset of the interlocutors wasat complete variance with the nationalist point of view on theKashmir issue and their various statements were uncalled foras they were creating an unpalatable situation for nationalistelements in the state.

Other participants of the meeting were General Secretaryof All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference H L Chatta, D N Kissu,Chairman of Non-Camp Migrant Coordination Committee andVirender Raina, spokesperson of the Joint Forum.

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