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Opinion

Interlocutor from IB to J&K: Dineshwar Sharma, the man who excelled in different roles

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Dineshwar Sharma, the administrator of Lakshadweep and former head of the Intelligence (IB) Office, died on Friday at the age of 66 in a Chennai hospital from complications related to a lung disease.

Tributes came from political leaders of all parties, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Interior Minister Amit Shah, and former J&K Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who praised him for his knowledge and skills, but most importantly, for his ability to connect with everyone.

Sharma was light-skinned and calm, but he was not averse to speaking truth to power and was always willing to invest time and effort in complex matters.

That made him a natural choice for the Modi government, which decided to appoint him special representative for Jammu & Kashmir on October 25, 2017. His position was equivalent to the position of cabinet secretary.

Sharma, as an interlocutor for J&K, maintained dialogue with various J&K stakeholders until the BJP-PDP coalition collapsed in 2017. It was he who recommended releasing the stoners from jail for the first time.

Prime Minister Modi tweeted on Friday after his death: “Lakshadweep Administrator Shri Dineshwar Sharma Ji made lasting contributions to India’s security and police apparatus. He handled many sensitive counter-terrorism and insurgency operations during his law enforcement career. Anguished by his passing. Condolences to his family. Om Shanti ”.

Mehbooba Mufti said in his tweet as an interlocutor Sharma did everything possible to restore the bridges of trust and goodwill between J&K and the rest of the nation. Omar Abdulla said: “Dineshwar Sharma was a wise and sensible man who understood Kashmir. Unfortunately, he was an interlocutor for a government that was not interested in listening, but that does not reflect his efforts or his capabilities. I’m sorry to hear about your untimely demise. Than the RIP ”.

His batchmate and former CBI director Anil Sinha said: “I lost my brother, my friend and a member of my family.”

Sharma was a director of the IB for a fixed term of two years beginning on December 31, 2014.

Sharma joined the Intelligence Bureau as deputy director in January 1991 in Kashmir when the insurgency was at its peak there. During his service, Sharma handled a number of assignments, including counterinsurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast.

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