Back-channel dialogue begins to defuse crisis in Leh

Senior leaders of people’s movement Ladakh at a press conference at leh on Friday. — Excelsior/Morup Stanzin
Senior leaders of people’s movement Ladakh at a press conference at leh on Friday. — Excelsior/Morup Stanzin

Rijiju contacts Rinpochey

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Sept 25: While the back channel dialogue to defuse Leh crisis started today after the Union Minister of State with Independent Charge of Sports, Kiren Rijiju established contact with one of the senior leader’s of Ladakh Peoples Movement and former MP (RS) Skyabje Thiksey Khanpo Rinpochey spearheading ongoing agitation for grant of 6th Schedule status to Ladakh and extension of Bodo Territorial Council like powers to two Hill Development Councils of Leh and Kargil.

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Reliable sources said to defuse the ongoing crisis in UT of Ladakh where the Peoples Movement an amalgam of all political parties and religious bodies has given the call to boycott the ensuing elections to Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, Rijiju established contact with a senior leader of UT showing Government’s willingness to resolve the crisis by holding the dialogue with the leaders of Movement.
This was also confirmed by former MP and senior leader of the Movement, Thupstan Chhewang at a press conference held at Leh today in response to a question. He said they have come to know that Union Minister, Rijiju has contacted senior leader of the Movement and former RS member, Rinpochey and Movement is hopeful some possible response will come from the Centre.
Chhewang said it seems that Central Government is also starting process to defuse the crisis. Meanwhile, there were no protests in Ladakh today where the students took to streets during last two days against the statement of BJP general secretary (Org) J&K, Ashok Kaul.
Chhewang, while talking to media said that People’s Movement is firm on its demand and for poll boycott its leaders had decided to visit various areas of Leh district today to solicit support of people for the boycott call and apprise them about the programme. But they were contacted by the administration and police today and informed that due to Election Code of Conduct they can’t hold such programmes. They (Admn) advised the leadership had to seek prior permission from the administration for holding such programmes, he added.
He said in view of this the Peoples Movement postponed the programme. Four to five programmes were to be held in Leh city also and those were all postponed, he added.
However, the people who had reached Leh from different areas were also apprised of the decision, he said, adding that the People’s Movement struggle is on democratic lines and they are hopeful that no hurdle will be created in their way.
Meanwhile, BJP national general secretary, Ram Madhav who along with Ashok Kaul was camping in Leh for last two days to take the stock of the situation and hold talks with his party men on the issue returned to Union Capital early this morning to give the feedback to senior party leaders at Delhi and apprise them of the opinion of the party leaders of Ladakh over the prevailing situation.
However, Ashok Kaul is still camping in Leh and he is in constant contact with the party leaders of the UT. Kaul, while talking to media persons regretted the statement made by him saying that it was given in some other context but if it had hurt the sentiments of any one he regretted that.
Kaul said that party will apprise the High Command with the feelings and sentiments of the leadership of Ladakh and what ever decision will be taken by them, it will be conveyed on September 27.
He said BJP has always supported the cause of Ladakh and it was his party which assured the people of Ladakh that after BJP gets the majority in Parliament it will grant UT status to Ladakh and last year after “we got majority in both the Houses of Parliament the party did not lose even a minute in solving this long pending demand of the people of the region.”
Kaul said in past also he has always acted as bridge between the Ladakh leadership and Party High Command and he kept their every perspective and demand before the leadership and never tried to pose any hurdle in their way.
He said this time also the aspirations and feelings of Ladakh leadership will be conveyed to the party High Command.