Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai on Monday met a delegation from Ladakh. The delegation comprising leaders from Kargil and Leh reiterated the demand for statehood and constitutional safeguards for the Union Territory.
The meeting comes amid persistent demands and protests in the Union Territory for inclusion under the sixth schedule of the Constitution that provides protection to tribal areas.
Mr. Rai held detailed deliberations with the delegation who were assured that dialogue would continue.
On January 2, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) constituted a high-powered committee to “ensure protection of land and employment” for the people of Ladakh but the committee was rejected by Apex Body Leh and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA).
According to a committee member, home ministry officials felt the scope of talks should not be limited to Statehood and the three other demands but should be all encompassing.
The other three demands are inclusion under sixth schedule, separate Lok Sabha seats for Leh and Kargil districts and filling of existing vacancies. Ladakh has shut down multiple times and protested on several occasions in the past three years over these demands.
The special status of the former State of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution has been repealed and it was bifurcated into two Union Territories -J&K and Ladakh, the latter without a legislative assembly.