Tribune News Service
Jammu, December 11
Students from the Union Territory of Ladakh, studying in Jammu, today held a demonstration here against the non-inclusion of Ladakh into the Sixth Schedule of Indian Constitution and demanded for declaring tribal area status to the arid region.
Holding placards, the protesters, including girls from remote areas of Ladakh, assembled under the banner of All Ladakh Student Welfare Association, Jammu, and raised slogans in favour of their demands, seeking 80 per cent reservation in jobs for local youths in the UT of Ladakh.
“The Ladakh region has a vast area with nearly 96 per cent tribal population. The people of Ladakh are concerned about their identity, Scheduled Tribe status and unique culture and tradition because we have not been included into the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. The long-standing demand of UT status for Ladakh has been met, but we had been demanding UT with legislature so that we are able to enact laws as per the requirements of the region,” Rinchen Namgyal, vice-president of the association, said.
“If the Centre has not granted UT with legislature, it should ensure some safeguards for the protection of our fragile environment, unique identity, culture, land and jobs. It can be achieved only if we are given the tribal area status by including Ladakh into the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution,” he said.
The protesters also referred to the inclusion of four states of North East — Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura — with about just 50 per cent tribal population into the Sixth Schedule.
“There should be equality and Ladakh deserves to be granted tribal area status,” they said. They also took a dig at various political parties for their silence over the issue and said they owe an explanation to the people of Ladakh.
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