Former Jammu and Kashmir interlocutor for the Centre Dineshwar Sharma died on Friday due to lung-related complications, PTI reported. He was 66. At the time of his death, he held the office of the Administrator of Union Territory Lakshadweep.

Sharma, a former director of the Intelligence Bureau, was a retired Kerala-cadre Indian Police Service officer, according to NDTV.

He was appointed as the interlocutor of the Centre for Jammu and Kashmir in October 2017. He held several rounds of talks with stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir before the Centre revoked its special status in 2019, bifurcating the erstwhile state into two Union Territories. He was appointed as the administrator of Lakshadweep in October 2019.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Sharma’s death and said that he made “long lasting contributions to India’s policing and security apparatus”.

“He handled many sensitive counter terror and insurgency ops during his policing career,” Modi tweeted. “Anguished by his demise. Condolences to his family. Om Shanti.”

President Ram Nath Kovind offered condolences to Sharma’s family. “Shri Sharma’s expertise in internal security was particularly noteworthy,” he tweeted.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti also offered their tributes to the former officer.