NEW DELHI: Dineshwar Sharma, the Centre’s special representative to Jammu and Kashmir, stressed on the need to engage in dialogue, especially with Kashmiri youths who continue to feel alienated.
The Kashmir interlocutor met Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Tuesday and briefed him about the prevailing volatile situation in the state and suggested that sports can be a big engagement for the youth, said Ministry of Home Affairs officials in New Delhi.
Sharma met Gauba a day after a 22-year-old Chennai tourist died after he was hit on the head by a stone during a protest on the outskirts of Srinagar.
In order to encourage sports among the youth, the government has also decided to improve sports infrastructure in the state, sources said, adding that modernisation work in two stadiums would begin soon.
The Central Reserve Police Force, which is deployed significantly in Kashmir, too has been trying to encourage Kashmiri youth to take up sports like football and cricket.
In February, Central Reserve Police Force had sent 36 football players from the Valley on a ‘Bharat Darshan’ tour. In the past, CRPF also collaborated with Spanish football league La Liga and facilitated a Spain tour for some young Kashmiris.
Violence in Kashmir has been on the rise. Five Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists, including an assistant professor of the Kashmir University, were killed in an encounter in the Valley on Sunday.
Five civilians were also killed on the same day. Around 20 security personnel have died in more than 80 incidents of terrorist violence since January.