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Ladakh leadership holds talks with High Powered Committee in Delhi

 MoS Home chairs crucial meeting  6 member sub- committee of Ladakh leaders constituted  Next meeting on February 24  Plan of hunger strike by Ladakh leaders dropped
01:17 AM Feb 20, 2024 IST | Irfan Raina
ladakh leadership holds talks with high powered committee in delhi
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Kargil, Feb 19: On the invitation of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Ladakh leadership today held talks with a High Powered Committee (HPC) of central government during a meeting in New Delhi.

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The Ladakh leadership was represented by Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), two amalgam of social, political, trade, students and religious groups. The meeting was chaired by the Union MoS Home Nityanand Rai in North Block Delhi.

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The crucial meeting of the High Powered Committee was called amid the intensified protest by the Ladakh bodies in support of their four demands including statehood for Ladakh, constitutional safeguards under sixth schedule, PSC for Ladakh and separate parliament seats for Leh and Kargil. Official sources said that the meeting started at 11:30 AM and lasted for about two hours. It was the second such HPC meeting constituted by the MHA to discuss the issues and demands put forth by the KDA and LAB related Ladakh.

Sources said besides the representatives of LAB and KDA, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, BJP Lok Sabha Member from Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal and both chairpersons-cum-CECs of Hill Development Councils, Leh and Kargil also participated in the crucial meeting. However sources said the meeting remained inconclusive. They said that the HPC headed by the MoS Home Nityanand Rai asked the LAB and KDA to constitute a sub committee for taking forward further talks and deliberations that was agreed upon by the the Ladakh leadership and subsequently a six member sub committee was formed by KDA and LAB. After this development, the LAB and KDA have announced to cancel their schedule hunger strike on February 20.

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A senior leader from Ladakh who was part of the delegation told Greater Kashmir that they were asked to constitute a sub committee comprising of six members, three each from LAB and KDA, adding that the next round of meeting has been scheduled for February 24 to be chaired by the MoS Home in Delhi. He said that they reiterated their four demands and urged the committee to address them. All sub-committee members are currently in Delhi and are optimistic about productive discussions at the upcoming meeting, they said.

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“ A meeting of the leaders of the Apex Body of Leh and the Kargil Democratic Alliance, Kargil, with the high-powered committee of the Union Home Ministry was held at the North Block on Monday. The meeting decided to discuss threadbare our main demands: Statehood for Ladakh, inclusion of Ladakh in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and the constitution of the exclusive Public Service Commission for Ladakh in next meeting on February 24 (Saturday),” a statement from the Ladakh bodies said.

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The statement added, “ It was decided that we would constitute a joint sub-committee for carrying forward the exercise to look into the details of the issues. We have, accordingly, set up the sub-committee with the members, Thupstan Chhewang Chering Dorjay Lakrook and Nawang Rigzin Jora, representing the Apex Body, and Qamar Ali Akhoon, Asgar Ali Karbalai and Sajjad Kargili representing the KDA. We have conveyed to Shri Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Union Home Secretary, the names of the members of the sub- committee. All members of the sub-committee are in Delhi and we look forward to fruitful discussions at the next meeting. In view of this significant development we have decided to drop for the time being our plan to go on hunger strike from tomorrow (February 20, 2024),” it added.

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