The Centre’s special representative to Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, has said that the lack of trust between Kashmiris and the rest of Indians must end, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.

Sharma made the remarks at an event held in Pune, where he interacted with Kashmiri students. The Sarhad Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, organised the session.

“Irresponsible statements from some people and the behaviour of a few elements in the media have created a divide in our society –between Kashmiris and people from other states,” Sharma said. “This must end. We all have a stake in this. We must see that there is a mutual understanding between people from Kashmir and the rest of India.”

The Jammu and Kashmir Police had detained a Pune-based woman on January 27 for a suspected suicide attack plot after misinterpreting ntelligence inputs from central agencies.

Sharma said that he had talked to Pune Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla and had suggested to her to set up a mechanism that can help the youth from Kashmir reach out to authorities when faced with problems, PTI reported. “If a Kashmiri student faces any problem, he or she should feel free to contact the police.”

When a student told Sharma how he was once frisked by Army personnel in the Valley, he replied that he had told the Army, the paramilitary forces and the police that they need to be polite with civilians. “Mistakes, however, do happen,” Sharma told the audience. “We have to see that this behaviour is avoided.”

Sharma promised to work towards ensuring that Kashmiri students have access to more scholarships to study in different parts of India.