Ladakhi groups
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On the eve of the "Leh Chalo" call, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday invited the agitating groups of Ladakh for the second round of talks at Delhi on February 19 to discuss all issues.

Invitation for the second round of dialogue has been extended to the Leh Apex Body (LAB) and the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA)-the groups spearheading the stir for full-fledged statehood and sixth schedule.

Invitation for the second round of talks was extended to the agitating groups on the eve of the Leh Chalo call given by these groups.

"It has been decided to hold the second meeting of the HPC on 19.02.2024 at 11.30 AM in room number 119, First Floor, MHA, North Block, New Delhi to discuss the issues as per the Terms of References (ToRs) of the said committee," a meeting notice issued by Sunil Kumar, Under Secretary to the Government of India on Friday, said.

Leh Chalo
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Agitation groups give a call of "Leh Chalo"

As reported earlier, the LAB and KDA have given a "Leh Chalo" call on Saturday. The call was given to press for various demands including the grant of statehood for Ladakh, inclusion of Ladakh in the sixth schedule of the Constitution giving it a tribal status, job reservation for locals, and a parliamentary seat each for Leh and Kargil.

While both organizations have asked the people to reach Leh in connection with the "Leh Chalo" call, some religious and political groups have given a call of a shutdown in Kargil on February 3.
Differences cropped up among agitating groups

Reports said that the decision of the Union Government to call both LAB and KDA for the second round of talks has created differences among different groups. Reports said that some groups are asking the agitating organizations to withdraw the Kargil shutdown call to give some time to the Union Government.

First round of talks were held on December 4

The first round of dialogue of agitating groups of Ladakh with the High Powered Committee (HPC), under the chairmanship of Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai held in New Delhi on December 4, 2023.

In the meeting, the Union Minister emphasized that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the guidance of Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah, the Ministry of Home Affairs is committed to fast-track the development of Ladakh and to meeting the aspirations of the people of Ladakh.

Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai
Nityanand RaiScreengrab

He said that significant progress had been achieved after the formation of the union territory in 2019.

"Due to this historic step of the formation of the UT, governance and thereby developments have been brought closer to the people of Ladakh," Rai said.

He said that several initiatives like increasing the budgetary allocation for the UT, increasing funds provided to the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils, ensuring all-round connectivity, developing infrastructures like mobile networks, roads, and construction of new helipads, had been undertaken at a much faster pace.

HPC was constituted in January 2023

The Ministry of Home Affairs has constituted High Powered Committee (HPC) for Ladakh under the chairmanship of Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, with a mandate to discuss measures to protect the Ladakh region's unique culture and language taking into consideration its geographical location and its strategic importance to ensure protection of land and employment; measures for inclusive development and employment generation in the region; measures related to empowerment of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils (LAHDCs) of Leh and Kargil; and constitutional safeguards that could be provided to ensure the measures and protection.