Leh Councillors denied due courtesies


Old habits rather die hard and on many an occasion, it has been found that proper courtesy and affability allegedly are not extended to the elected representatives of the people in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. District Development Council members, on umpteen times since the formation of the councils and during the course of attending meetings with respective district authorities, allege that proper protocol and entitled treatment were denied to them. In the same way, some Councillors of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) are reported to have been denied entry though the VIP gate or delayed the same, during which time they had to keep standing at the gate. Belated permission irked them and therefore they decided to boycott the function of the Republic Day. These Councillors from the BJP, Congress and Independents were ”one” in their next move to celebrate such functions separately and not attend the official ones in future. We feel the concerned officers in the UT Administration need to be more realistic and pragmatic while extending due courtesies and protocol to public representatives and therefore, a peculiar mindset, if still persistent, needs to be changed, sooner the better. The Police personnel responsible for causing unnecessary embarrassment to the Councillors having been attached to the Police lines pending a departmental enquiry to ascertain factual position is what best at the spur of the moment could be possible to be done which, however, needs to be gone far beyond. In other words, which type of orders were passed on to them to be followed that they could make no discrimination between a ”very genuine” and an ordinary entry since there could be some communication flaws and gaps or the orders from higher authorities not clearly if not doubtfully received by the concerned police officials. In any case, such incidents should be doubly ensured to be never repeated. We note that top Police officers had tried to pacify the agitating Councillors and even the SSP is on record having visited the residences of the Councillors to talk to them and knowing all about the incident in details. We also expect the Councillors of LAHDC to review their decision to celebrate national events separately in future as a mark of protest against the uncalled for treatment meted out to them on the eve of the Republic Day this year. We feel that the episode is in totality needing to be looked at from the perspective of high traditions of patriotism and love for the National Flag, people of Ladakh are known for but a proper enquiry into the incident to the entire satisfaction of the Councillors would meet the ends of justice which, therefore, need to be expedited. Needless to reiterate, national events like Republic Day etc are our national and democratic festivals needing full participation with a zeal of belongingness and therefore, do not remain confined to the realms of the Government or its various agencies only which, therefore, have no scope whatsoever for the unfortunate incidents like the one witnessed at the VIP gate at Leh in the UT of Ladakh.