Leh: Political parties, religious communities and civil society groups on Monday urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to grant Ladakh the status of a union territory with legislature for ensuring speedy development of the hilly region of Jammu and Kashmir.
The demand was placed when local heads of around 15 political parties, religious communities and civil society groups met the Home Minister. Singh is on a two-day visit to Leh and Kargil to interact with a cross section of people and take their suggestions on resolution of the Kashmir issue.
The Home Minister said he saw the real unity in diversity among the people of Ladakh and the entire country was proud of the people and the region as they were maintaining cordial relations among different communities, a Home Ministry official said.
Singh appreciated the people of Ladakh for being true and staunch nationalists and standing shoulder to shoulder with the army and security forces in defending the country from both external and internal threats. He also reviewed the security situation in the state with state government officials who briefed him on the prevailing law-and-order situation in the state and on the position of supply of essential commodities as well as the movement of trucks carrying fruits to various parts of the country.
The Home Minister will visit Kargil on Tuesday. Earlier, asked about his trip to Ladakh, Singh told reporters that he has come to understand the problems of the region by interacting with a cross section of people. "Whatever problems the people face here, we will try to resolve them," he said.
This is Singh's fourth visit to Jammu and Kashmir ever since the unrest began in the state following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on 8 July. Singh had led an all-party delegation to Srinagar and Jammu on 4-5 September. The leaders of various political leaders met over 400 people who came in 50 different delegations representing various sections of society in Srinagar and Jammu.
Earlier, the Home Minister had visited Srinagar on 24-25 August and 23-24 July. Singh was accompanied by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and other senior officials.