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Key Ladakh citizens’ group to protest in Delhi for statehood, special status

NewsKey Ladakh citizens’ group to protest in Delhi for statehood, special status

SRINAGAR: The Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), a united citizens’ group of entire UT of Ladakh which comprises of political, religious and social leaders, have decided to go on the path of agitation and would be holding a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to press for their demands for statehood and special status to their region.
Earlier, the Union Home Ministry, after month-long discussions, decided to form a high-level committee headed by MoS Home to hold discussions in order to protect Ladakh’s unique culture and language. But the united citizens’ group of Ladakh has turned down to be the part of this committee and have said that the central government should first accept their demands like statehood and two MPs from Leh and Kargil, along with safeguards to their identity, under the Sixth Schedule of Constitution.
Sajad Hussain Kargili, who is an active member of KDA, told media that they will start the agitation as the central government was only buying time and was refusing to accept the genuine demands of people of Ladakh. Chering Dorjay, who is the main face of agitation and also senior vice president of Ladakh Buddhist Association, told media that people of Ladakh will not sit unless their identity is not safeguarded.
Dorjay was quoted in the media as saying, “They are trying to make a fool of us. We understand that the Centre is against our demand for statehood and 6th schedule.” The united leadership of Ladakh felt that the central government was testing the patience of common people in UT of Ladakh. It is in place to mention that recently, the central government constituted a high-power committee of 17 members. Lt Governor of Ladakh, MP Ladakh, a senior home ministry official and nine representatives of Apex Body of Leh and Kargil Democratic Alliance are members of the Committee.
People of Ladakh and their leadership are feeling disempowered as the bureaucrats and Lt Governor of UT of Ladakh have made the autonomous councils of Leh and Kargil powerless. “We were better in every respect while we were a part of J&K state. We have been completely disempowered and being ruled by a few bureaucrats” said former minister and NC leader Qamar Ali Akhoon who is part of KDA. Reacting to the decision of Apex Body of Leh and Kargil Democratic Alliance, former chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said, “Urge my Ladakhi brothers and sisters to stand with us in our collective fight & struggle for safeguarding our unique identity & interests. For the past three years, vicious propaganda has been unleashed to create fissures between J&K and Ladakh”. “Finally it has dawned on the people of Ladakh that they were better off in J & K. The decision taken on August 5, 2019 was not only an assault on the distinct identity of all the three regions, but also a move to disempower the people,” People’s Alliance Gupkar Declaration spokesman and CPI (M) general secretary Yusuf Tarigami said. While the People’s Alliance Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has been trying muster support in Jammu region to fight for the safeguards to the land and jobs along with constitutional guarantees, but most of the common people in Jammu are not inclined to agitate against the BJP government. “We are waiting and watching. We cannot be a part of any Kashmir based agitation. We feel that BJP will boost the economy of Jammu ‘’ said Vijay Manhas of Jammu who along with many Jammu citizens do not want to be the part of PAGD agitation in future. Most of the analysts and journalists of Jammu feel that people of Jammu have a lot of faith in BJP and PM Modi and are not ready to be part of any agitation to press for statehood or special status.

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