India befooling us, we were better off with IIOJK, says Ladakh leadership

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Ladakh’s leadership has rejected Modi-led Indian government’s committee and made it clear to India that people of Kargil and Leh region were better off with occupied Jammu and Kashmir before it was stripped of its special status on August 5, 2019 and divided in the name of two union territories.

Chering Dorjay, leader of the Apex Body of Leh and senior vice president of Ladakh Buddhist Association in an interview with an Indian TV channel said, “Given the present scenario, we feel the earlier arrangement of being part of J&K was better”.

Mr Dorjay said that New Delhi was trying to make Ladakhi people fool after forming the high powered committee but refuses to accept Ladakh’s demand.

“They are trying to make us fool. We understand that New Delhi is against our demand for statehood and 6th schedule,” said Mr Dorjay.

Mr Dorjay, who is also former BJP leader and a minister, said that the committee agenda to protect jobs, land and identity of Ladakhi people lacks credibility because it’s not clear under which provision of the constitution they will provide these rights to people of Ladakh.

“All these things can be protected under the 6th schedule of the constitution. They (New Delhi) say they will protect jobs, land and identity of Ladakh. But under which act and the schedule they will do it?” asks Mr Dorjay.

He said that people in Leh had demanded a union territory but it’s not worked well for people. “Yes, there was a demand for Union Territory in Leh. But it didn’t work well for people. It’s not what we had thought about,” said Mr Dorjay. Sajad Hussian of Kargil Democratic Alliance says he strongly supports the sentiments of Mr Dorjay and Buddhist leadership of Leh and they are unanimous in their demand.

“We will continue our protests. We believe people of Ladakh should get their democratic rights in real sense. Our rights have been usurped. We should not be” given a step-motherly treatment, said Sajad Hussain of Kargil Democratic Alliance.

It is worth mentioning here that the leadership has rejected the so-called committee, formed by Indian Home Ministry under the chair of Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai to end resentment in the Ladakh region.

The Apex Body of Ladakh and Kargil Democratic Alliance have unanimously decided that they will not be part of the any proceedings of the committee until their demands are met.—KMS