Ladakh Union Territory Front (LUTF), spearheading a campaign for union territory status to Ladakh region, on Wednesday condemned the report of the Prime Minister’s Working Group, which rejected the demand.
“We reject Justice Sagir Ahmed report and condemn it. We reiterate our demand that Ladakh should be given UT status with free flow of Indian constitution in it. We want to further strengthen our relations with country,” Chairman LUTF, Chering Dorjay told reporters here on Wednesday.
The forum has submitted a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil outlaying the demand for grant of UT status to Ladakh, Mr. Drojay said.
“We have been agitating to get union territory status since 1947. Often we have responded to the wishes of our national leaders - Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi especially - to put off our agitations in the overall national interest,” he said.
“We have responded to their calls. We want to get our due through cooperation and not confrontation,” he said.
Stating that the Ladakhis were different from the rest of Jammu and Kashmir culturally, linguistically and geographically, he said, “We urge upon the Centre to grant us UT status“.
“It is the people of Ladakh who had fought with Indian army shoulder to shoulder in all its wars with Pakistan and China.
In Kargil war too, Ladakh scouts played a major role, but the successive government at the Centre and the state have neglected the area and failed to fulfil our demands,” Mr. Dorjay said.