Ladakh observes bandh to demand statehood, constitutional safeguards

Ladakh observes bandh to demand statehood, constitutional safeguards
A complete bandh was observed in the twin districts of Leh and Kargil with almost all the business establishments, private offices remaining closed while private and public transport was seen off the road.Special arrangement

Ganderbal: Ladakh observed a complete bandh on Monday on the call of the Apex Body Leh (ABL) and the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), amalgams of various political, social, religious, student, transport, and merchant associations.

A complete bandh was observed in the twin districts of Leh and Kargil with almost all the business establishments, private offices remaining closed while private and public transport was seen off the road.

The ABL and the KDA had called for the shutdown against the delay in carrying forward talks and deliberations by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India regarding the demands of the leadership of Ladakh.

The demands include full-fledged statehood for the Ladakh, a union territory carved out from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019.

The representative bodies have since sought a constitutional safeguard on the lines of the 6th Schedule that grants autonomy to tribal communities.

They are also demanding additional Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha seats for Ladakh to strengthen the representation and participation in democratic processes and early advertisement for every recruitment process.

Jigmat Paljor, a local student activist, said, “It is overwhelming to see the unity and cooperation of the people of Ladakh in observing the bandh today. I hope MHA will act swiftly and call the delegations for talks.”

The two organisations APL and KDA were formed after the Centre on August 5, 2019.

In September this year, a similar Ladakh bandh call was given by the Ladakh leadership including ABL and KDA on the visit of MoS Home Nityanand Rai to Leh.

Later, the union minister met the leaders of both ABL and KDA and assured them that all their concerns would be looked into.

On July 1, an 11-member KDA team met Union MoS Home in Delhi and put forth their demands before him.

Greater Kashmir
www.greaterkashmir.com