Ladakh shuts down over statehood demand


In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, a joint strike call given by apex body of Peoples Movement for 6th Schedule and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) against the delay by the Indian government in holding talks with them on their demand for statehood and constitutional safeguards to the region disrupted normal life in Ladakh.

Both the Apex Body and KDA, which is a sepa-rate amalgam of socio-religious, political and youth organisations of Leh and Kargil districts, were formed after the August 5, 2019 when Modi-led fascist Indian government abrogated the special status of Kashmir and imposed military siege in the territory.

However, a joint delegation of the Apex body and the KDA met the visiting Minister of State (MoS) for Home Nityanand Rai Saturday afternoon after accepting his invitation.

On August 1, the representatives of Kargil and Leh districts joined hands to seek full-fledged state-hood along with constitutional safeguards for the region – eight months after their historic meeting last year.

The Apex body and KDA are also demanding one more Lok Sabha seat and two Rajya Sabha seats besides a special recruitment drive for the local youth to fill up over 10,000 vacancies.

The Apex body and the KDA called for the gen-eral strike in Ladakh claiming that their efforts to start a dialogue with the Indian home ministry was not positively responded and an attempt was made to “divide the people of Ladakh” by inviting their constituents separately by the visiting MOS home instead of extending an invitation to a joint delega-tion, proposed by the Apex Body and KDA.

While the strike call paralysed normal life in both Leh and Kargil districts with all shops and business establishments closed, the minister invited the joint delegation of the Apex Body and KDA and held a meeting with them, officials said.

“The meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere and the union minister heard our demands pa-tiently,” former minister and co-chairman of the KDA Qamar Ali Akhoon told reporters after the meeting.

Akhoon, who was flanked by other prominent leaders, said the minister assured them that the dia-logue with them would continue for the resolution of their demands.—KMS

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