Panel to look into Ladakh issues

A committee would be constituted under Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy to find an appropriate solution to the issues related to language, culture and conservation of land in the Union Territory of Ladakh, the Home Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

A 10-member delegation of Ladakh met Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday.

โ€œIn view of the difficult geographical conditions and the strategic importance of Ladakh, all the representatives expressed their concern with respect to conservation of language, culture and land of Ladakh, participation of the people of Ladakh in its development, protection of employment and changes in the demography of Ladakh region. A protest was also held in this regard before the LAHDC [Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council] elections,โ€ the Ministry said.

Mr. Shah said the Centre was committed to developing Ladakh and conserving its land and culture.

The committee, led by Mr. Reddy, would comprise members of the delegation that met the Home Minister, elected members from Ladakh, members of the LAHDC and ex-officio members representing the Government of India and the Ladakh administration.

โ€œThe members of this committee will consider the concerns expressed by the members of this delegation to find an early solution to the same, and the views of this committee would also be taken due cognizance while taking a final decision,โ€ the statement said.

Sixth schedule

The Peopleโ€™s Movement of the Union Territory of Ladakh, a group comprising all political parties and the influential Buddhist association, has been demanding inclusion under the sixth schedule of the Constitution.

The Sixth schedule protects tribal populations and provides autonomy to the communities through the creation of autonomous development councils that can frame laws on land, public health, agriculture etc. As of now, 10 autonomous councils exist in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

On August 5 last, Mr. Shah moved two bills in the Rajya Sabha to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and to downgrade and bifurcate the State into Union Territoriess- J&K and Ladakh, the latter without a legislative assembly. Ladakh has two councils- LAHDC- Leh and Kargil to govern micro issues.

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