he representatives of Kargil on Thursday demanded statehood for the Union Territory Ladakh and special status in a meeting held with Minister of States for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy here in the North Block.
This was the first meeting after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held discussion with political leaders of Jammu & Kashmir.
The 11-member team of social-political representatives from Kargil region and members of civil society groups came to meet the Union Minister under the banner of the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA).
“We demanded full statehood for Ladakh. Our members spoke with an open heart and Union Minister G Kishan Reddy also listened to us with an open heart and said that this is the first meeting and he will take forward all these things and will take some concrete steps. He said that the government is serious about the development of Ladakh,” KDA leader Asgar Ali Karbalai said.
He went on add that the Union Minister has assured them that he would soon visit Kargil and Leh. “He said when he visits Ladakh, we will be called again but no date has been given. He assured us that he will take our words to the Home Minister and to the Prime Minister and something will happen,” he added.
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In August 2019, the Central government revoked Article 370 and re-organised the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir into two separate Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh.
Bashir Ahmad Shakir, who was part of the delegation said, “We have demanded full statehood for Ladakh. Kishan Reddy said that they will think about it and discuss issues in detail. Now talks have started, this is the first meeting; we have been assured that there will be another meeting.”
A meeting in this regard was held earlier with the representatives from Ladakh, but people from Kargil wanted a separate meeting citing reasons that their concerns were different.
In January this year, the MHA had announced it would form a committee under MoS Reddy to find a solution to issues associated with preservation of Ladakh’s land, culture and language apart from the demand for bringing the UT under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.