Dineshwar Sharma, who was currently serving as the administrator of Lakshadweep, passed away on Friday, 4 December. He was reportedly undergoing treatment in a hospital in Chennai.
Originally from Bihar, he joined the Indian Police Service as a Kerala cadre IPS officer in 1979, and went on to become the Assistant Director of the Intelligence Bureau in 1991.
With a long history of working with state as well as central intelligence agencies, he was appointed the chief of IB in 2014 and was responsible for heading various crucial counter-surveillance operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.
Before his appointment as the administrator of Lakshadweep by President Ram Nath Kovind in 2019, Sharma was as an interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir in 2017.
Sharma was also the recipient of the prestigious Indian Police Medal for the meritorious service in 1997 and the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 2003.
Various political leaders from across the country expressed their condolences at his passing.
Modi, Shah, Mufti and More Pay Respects
In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Sharma, recognising his contributions in matters of Indian security.
“Administrator of Lakshadweep Shri Dineshwar Sharma Ji made long lasting contributions to India’s policing and security apparatus. He handled many sensitive counter terror and insurgency ops during his policing career. Anguished by his demise. Condolences to his family. Om Shanti.” He wrote.
Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed his grief, saying that Sharma “served the nation with utmost devotion as a dedicated officer of the Indian Police Service.”
Former chief minister of J&K Omar Abdullah wrote, “Dineshwar Sharma Sb was a wise & sensible man who understood Kashmir. Unfortunately he was an interlocutor for a government that wasn’t interested in listening but that isn’t a reflection of either his efforts or his abilities.”
Mehbooba Mufti also mentioned Sharma’s tenure as the J&K interlocutor, when “he tried his best to restore bridges of trust & goodwill between people of J&K & rest of the nation.”
(With inputs from PTI, Hindustan Times, TOI and The Indian Express)