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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Ladakh shuts over statehood demand, local leaders slam Modi govt

Expressing concerns over the safeguarding of the region, Ladakh on Monday observed a complete shutdown on a call given by the regional leaders against the Indian government for its failure to grant statehood to the region. 

The bandh call was given by Apex Body Leh and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) against the Government of India for not initiating the process of talks with the regional leaders of Ladakh.

In January this year, India’s Ministry of Home Affairs announced the formation of a committee to look into the possibilities of Ladakh in the 6th schedule.

The Ministry later called KDA for talks in June and assured that a joint committee will be formed to hold further deliberations regarding the constitutional safeguard of the region.

Chering Dorjay, the founding member of Apex Body Leh said that the Bandh call evoked immense response from all the stakeholders and communities of the region to mark a peaceful protest against the central government for not holding talks with the local leaders. 

He said that the Ministry of Home Affairs is taking extra time in holding further talks with the regional leaders regarding the demands raised by them. “So far it has been observed that the MHA has not initiated any concrete and sincere steps about the assurances to hold talks with us in New Delhi,” Dorjay said.

”In case of no immediate response from the government, we will be compelled to strengthen demands besides something apart from bandh will be on cards.”

Qambar Ali Akhoon, a former minister from the region said that despite assurances from the Home Ministry to hold talks early regarding the constitutional safeguard to the region nothing concrete has been done which compelled them to call for Ladakh bandh.

“There was a positive response from all quarters and not only the towns, even the markets in the farthest areas observed Bandh in support of the demands,” the former minister said, adding that the region is facing immense challenges.

Asgar Karbalai, co-chairman of KDA said that in case the government continues to show a cold response they will be compelled to strengthen their demands and hold mass agitations across the region in every nook and corner.

“The bandh has shown everyone that the people of Ladakh stand with the agenda of KDA and Apex Body,” Karbalai said.

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