Independent , Honest and Dignified Journalism

Government Forms Sub-Committee Headed by Home Secretary to Address Ladakh’s Demands

New Delhi, 19-02-2024 : In a significant development, the Centre has agreed to delve into Ladakh’s longstanding demands, including Statehood, inclusion in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution, and the establishment of a dedicated Public Service Commission. This decision emerged from a crucial meeting held between the High Powered Committee (HPC) for Ladakh, led by Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, and a 14-member delegation representing the Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), representing various organizations in the Union Territory.

A joint press release issued by LAB and KDA announced the decision to hold detailed discussions on February 24 in New Delhi regarding Ladakh’s core demands. As a result of this significant progress, the organizations have temporarily suspended their plan to initiate a hunger strike from Tuesday.

To facilitate further deliberations, a joint sub-committee has been formed, comprising members from LAB and KDA. The sub-committee includes Thupstan Chhewang, Chering Dorjay Lakrook, and Nawang Rigzin Jora from LAB, and Qamar Ali Akhoon, Asgar Ali Karbalai, and Sajjad Kargili from KDA. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has been apprised of the sub-committee’s composition, and all members are poised for constructive discussions during the forthcoming meeting.

Chaired by Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, the Sub-Committee will convene alongside senior officers and legal experts from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to delve into Ladakh’s demands comprehensively.

Beyond the aforementioned demands, the delegation also advocates for additional Lok Sabha seats – one each for Kargil and Leh – and increased employment opportunities for the region’s residents. Currently, Ladakh is represented by a single Lok Sabha constituency, underscoring the need for enhanced political representation.

Following Ladakh’s reorganization as a Union Territory in August 2019, various organizations have persistently voiced their demands for greater autonomy and development. The BJP-led Centre has reiterated its commitment to addressing the aspirations of Ladakh’s populace, underscoring the strategic importance and cultural uniqueness of the region.

The establishment of the HPC for Ladakh underscores the government’s proactive approach towards safeguarding Ladakh’s cultural heritage, economic prosperity, and administrative autonomy. This committee is tasked with formulating measures to promote inclusive development, protect land rights, and empower the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils (LAHDCs) of Leh and Kargil.