No further talks if statehood not on MHA agenda: Ladakh leaders : The Tribune India

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No further talks if statehood not on MHA agenda: Ladakh leaders

Meet Home Ministry panel, press for special status, job reservation

No further talks if statehood not on MHA agenda: Ladakh leaders

Leaders want Ladakh to come under the Sixth Schedule. ANI



Our Correspondent

Jammu/Srinagar, June 19

Ladakh leaders met a panel of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to discuss their four-point agenda, including statehood and special status for the Union Territory under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution in Delhi on Monday. The discussion was organised to set the agenda for the high-powered committee (HPC) meeting, scheduled to be held in the coming weeks. The six-member delegation of Ladakh said it wouldn’t take part in the upcoming meeting if the agenda doesn’t include statehood and Sixth Schedule. The other two demands are related to separate Lok Sabha seats for Leh and Kargil (presently only one for Ladakh) and job reservation for locals.

No assurance

  • Leaders say they got no assurance on inclusion of statehood and Sixth Schedule in agenda for the upcoming high-powered committee meeting.
  • The aim of Monday’s meeting was to set the agenda for the upcoming meeting, scheduled to be held in the coming weeks.

The government had formed the high-powered committee for Ladakh earlier this year to discuss the demands of local leaders.

Among the Ladakh delegates were Leh Apex Body (LAB) members — ex-MP Thupstan Chhewang and former Cabinet ministers in the erstwhile J&K Chering Dorjey and Nawang Rigzin Jora — and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) members — ex-Cabinet minister Qamar Ali Akhoon, ex-MLA Asgar Ali Karbalai and Sajjad Kargili, an activist.

They were perturbed over the MHA not assuring them that the issue of statehood and Sixth Schedule would be included in the agenda for the high-powered committee meeting. “The ball is in the government’s court now. It has to be seen if it wants to take forward the talks with Ladakh people,” said Dorjey.

During the one-and-a-half-hour meeting, the Ladakh leaders informed the minister and officials about the threats to the tribal culture and environment of the region if it was not brought under the Sixth Schedule.

“We told them about the need of elected representatives instead of bureaucrats. This is possible only if Ladakh becomes a state,” Dorjey further said.

Besides Nityanand Rai, senior officials of the home ministry and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) were also present during the meeting.

Asgar Ali Karbalai told The Tribune that while the meeting ended on a positive note, eyes are set on the agenda of the HPC meeting which will be scheduled by the MHA.

He said the MHA panel showed concern towards demands of the Ladakh leaders and assured that the government wanted development for the UT people.

KDA leader Sajjad Hussain Kargili said the MHA showed willingness to engage in discussions and review the demands.

The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution provides for greater administrative and political autonomy to certain tribal areas.


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