Srinagar- New Delhi has set the ball rolling to start fresh negotiations with Ladakh parties, who are demanding among other things, job, and land safeguards besides statehood for the Union Territory formed after the abrogation of Article-370 in August 2019.
According to reports, New Delhi has approached Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), an amalgam of trade unions, social, political and religious groups from Ladakh, to initiate a fresh dialogue to consider the demands put forward by them.
Cherring Dorjay Lakruk, member of LAB, told Kashmir Observer on Saturday that the Union Home Ministry has sought a revised proposal from the two bodies to begin a fresh round of dialogue to reach a conclusion.
He said some officials from the Union Home Ministry had met LAB Chairman and President Thupstan Chhewang in New Delhi recently and sought a revised proposal to bring an end to the political uncertainty in the cold desert.
“Thupstan Chhewang informed us about the meeting. We are waiting for the representatives of KDA who are in Jammu and are scheduled to arrive in Leh next week,” Lakruk said.
He further said that once the KDA members are back to Ladakh, the two bodies will sit and decide the future course of action.
Lakruk however, said there is no official communication as of now.
Kashmir Observer reached out to Chhewang for his comments; however he didn’t receive the calls.
Both the leaders from the Buddhist majority-Leh and Muslim majority Kargil are on the same page and have organised a number of protests to press their demands. The leaders have been demanding Constitutional safeguards on the lines of 6th schedule of the Indian Constitution.
The two groups were formed in the twin districts of Kargil and Leh including Apex Body and Kargil Democratic Alliance following the region’s resentment against the central government for failing to provide constitutional, job, and land safeguard to the region created from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019.
The four agenda of the two bodies include, full-fledged Statehood for Ladakh, constitutional safeguards under the 6th schedule of the Indian Constitution, early recruitment process & PSC for Ladakh and separate Lok Sabha seats for Leh and Kargil districts.
According to reports, a 30-member delegation of LAB initially met the newly appointed Lieutenant Governor Brig BD Mishra (Retired) in Leh and briefed him on a host of issues, including the four-point agenda.
Reports added that LG Mishra also met Union Home Secretary A K Bhalla in New Delhi and appraised him about the stand of the Ladakh parties.
Welcoming the move, BJP’s Ladakh unit president, Phunchok Stanzin said that New Delhi was always ready for a dialogue but the apex bodies were not.
“It is a good move; all the demands will be addressed. I think a fresh dialogue will be initiated in the next few weeks,” Stanzin said.
Earlier, the Leh region witnessed massive protests in January this year after top environmentalist Sonam Wangchuk announced a five-day long climate fast at 18,380 feet high Khardung La pass to invite attention of the BJP-led Centre to address the demands of Ladakhis.
It may be noted that on 3 January, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) constituted a high-powered committee headed by Minister of State Nityanand Rai to “ensure protection of land and employment” for the people of Ladakh.
However, the KDA and LBA in a joint meeting decided to stay away from the Centre’s High Powered Committee (HPC).
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