Concerned over host of issues, MHA calls 4 meetings on J&K, Ladakh UTs

Land, job, identity protection may be discussed
Joint security review on Dec 18
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Dec 14: With a view to work out host of issues including legal and Constitutional faced by the two newly created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs will be meeting top officials of the two UTs for four consecutive days holding one meeting daily beginning December 16 with a view to address the issues and concerns of the people.
“Top officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs will hold one meeting each with officers of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on December 16, 17, 18 and 19 to review several issues and concerns which have either been raised by the people or have come up during working of the two UTs, which had started functioning on October 31 following bifurcation of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir,” official sources told the Excelsior.
The MHA will take up issues of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir exclusively on December 16 and that of the Union Territory of Ladakh on December 17. It will hold joint review of security related matters of the two Union Territories on December 18 and legal and Constitutional issues of the two UTs collectively on December 19.
This is for the first time that the Ministry of Home Affairs will be holding daily meetings for four consecutive days to address the issues of all aspects of the two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Though there were no specific issues on the agenda in all four meetings, according to sources, the officials of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been asked to come up with any such issue which have cropped up during functioning of the UTs or were taken up by the people.
The MHA meetings for four successive days on the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh come amidst concerns raised by the people and political parties about protection of land and jobs for the locals in both the Union Territories. The demand for implementation of 6th Schedule has also gained momentum in the Union Territory of Ladakh with a delegation also meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister of State for Home G Kishen Reddy projecting their demands.
While investment by the big industrial houses and holding of the Investors Summit is generally being welcomed in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, some political parties and people have sought protection of land (other than for investment purposes) and jobs for the locals.
Excelsior had earlier exclusively reported that the Central Government was considering protection of land, jobs and culture in both the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh following concerns expressed by the local people and political parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) itself.
Sources said constitution of various Commissions in Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh and jurisdiction of the Central Commissions over the two UTs will also figure prominently in the meetings called by the Home Ministry to overcome confusion over some of the bodies.
The Union Home Ministry will have to set up the Delimitation Commission shortly for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir as delimitation of Assembly constituencies has become mandatory before holding first election to the UT Legislature in view of increase in number of the Assembly seats.
Legislative Assembly of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State had 87 seats, which have been increased to 90. This will be an increase of seven seats as erstwhile Ladakh region too had four seats which has now become separate UT without Legislature as it has two Autonomous Hill Development Councils-one each in Leh and Kargil.
Besides, there were 24 seats reserved for Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) in the J&K Legislative Assembly.
Kashmir jewel
of India: Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said today that Kashmir has become jewel of India following abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir by the BJP Government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Kashmir has become jewel of India. The tricolor was unfurled there by abrogating Articles 370 and 35A,” Shah said addressing an election rally in Jharkhand.
“Rahul Gandhi and Hemant Soren say why Kashmir issue is important in Jharkhand elections?… the youth of Jharkhand are securing the borders of this country. But, Rahul Gandhi does not know history as he has Italian sunglasses in front of his eyes,” Shah said.
He accused the Congress of “encouraging” Naxalism, “handing over” Kashmir to terrorists and dragging Ayodhya issue for years.
The BJP president said while the Congress accuses the saffron party of being anti-Muslim, it is the NDA Government that had brought the Triple Talaq Act.