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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Centre to form panel to resolve issues relating to Ladakh land, culture

The delegation included former MPs Thiksay Rinpoche and Thupstan Chhewang, former BJP minister Chering Dorjay, Leh chief executive councillor Tashi Gyalson and sitting BJP MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal.

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary | New Delhi | Updated: January 7, 2021 6:02:00 am
MHA officials said Shah told the delegation that the Union government is committed towards the development of Ladakh and conservation of the land and culture of Ladakh.

The Centre has decided to form a committee under Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy to find a solution to issues associated with preservation of Ladakh’s land, culture and language apart from demands from the region to be included under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

A 10-member delegation from Ladakh met Home Minister Amit Shah Wednesday. The delegation is learnt to have expressed concern over threat to the region’s unique culture, language and demography due to recent changes brought about by the Centre to the status of the region. Sources said fears have also been expressed about land rights and demand for inclusion in the Sixth Schedule was discussed.

The delegation included former MPs Thiksay Rinpoche and Thupstan Chhewang, former BJP minister Chering Dorjay, Leh chief executive councillor Tashi Gyalson and sitting BJP MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal.

“A meeting was held today under the chairmanship of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, wherein it was decided that in order to find an appropriate solution to the issues related to language of Ladakh, culture of Ladakh and conservation of land in Ladakh, a committee will be constituted under the leadership of Sh. G.Kishan Reddy, MoS (Home). The committee would comprise of members of the delegation who met the Hon’ble Home Minister today, elected members from Ladakh, members of the LAHDC Council and ex-officio members representing the Government of India and the Ladakh administration,” a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.

Notably, a protest had been held in Ladakh regarding these issues just ahead of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) elections. A coalition of political parties and religious groups had given a call to boycott the elections. The matter was resolved after Shah intervened and assured to look into the concerns.

MHA officials said Shah told the delegation that the Union government is committed towards the development of Ladakh and conservation of the land and culture of Ladakh. By conferring the status of Union Territory, the government has displayed its commitment towards fulfilling long-pending demands of the people of Ladakh, he is learnt to have said.

In September 2019, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes recommended inclusion of Ladakh under the Sixth Schedule. The commission took note of the fact that the newly created Union Territory is predominantly a tribal region.

The Sixth Schedule has provisions for the administration of tribal areas in the border states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. It has provisions for the constitution of autonomous districts and councils with a varying degree of autonomy to frame laws to protect interests of the tribals.

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