Tribal-Area Status Demanded by Ladakh Leaders

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Prominent leaders of Ladakh have made a fervent appeal to the Centre to declare the region a tribal area under the sixth schedule of the Constitution. The leaders said that the biggest concern for its people is to protect their land and identity.

Though locals fear the influx of outsiders although they have welcomed the Centre’s decision to revoke Article 370 and make Ladakh a Union Territory. They fear that the outsiders would lead to a change in the region’s demography, jeopardize their culture and identity.

Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal submitted a memorandum to the Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda saying that the region is a predominantly tribal area with tribals making up to 98 percent of its population.

He further said that after the Centre announced its decision to make Ladakh a Union Territory, the biggest concern of the tribal population here is to protect their identity, culture, land and economy.

Namgyal further appealed the tribal affairs minister to make a representation to Home Minister Amit Shah on their behalf to protect the demography and culture of Ladakh. He also appealed to Munda to declare it a tribal area under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution to protect the interests of its people.

Namgyal said that many tribal schemes could not be implemented in Ladakh under the Jammu and Kashmir government adding that scholarships, hostels and schools for tribals are not developed.

According to Article 244 and the sixth schedule, tribal-dominated areas in four states — Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram — are called “tribal areas”, which are technically different from the “scheduled areas” under the Fifth Schedule.

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