Rajnath Singh to visit Leh today

Published: Aug 29, 2019, 08:41 IST | mid-day online correspondent | New Delhi

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be visiting Leh to attend a programme being organised by Defence Research and Development Organisation

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to visit Ladakh. Pic/ANI
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to visit Ladakh. Pic/ANI

New Delhi: Rajnath Singh, the Defence Minister on Thursday will be visiting Leh to attend a programme being organised by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The Defence Minister took to social media website, Twitter and posted in the morning, "Leaving New Delhi for Leh, where I shall be attending a programme organised by @DRDO_India." After the government abrogated Article 370 and passed a resolution bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories earlier this month, this will be the first visit by the Defence Minister to Ladakh.

Also Read: Rajnath Singh: Talks with Pakistan only on PoK

During the visit, the Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh is expected to hold parleys with both military officials deployed in the area and the locals, informed the defence officials. The Defence Minister In Leh is expected to be briefed by the local military commanders about the security situation on both China and Pakistan borders. Rajnath Singh's visit comes amid China's opposition to the move of making Ladakh a UT. Rajnath Singh in In June had visited Ladakh soon after assuming the post of Defence Minister and laid a wreath at the Siachen War memorial.

Recently, 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, saying the biggest concern for its people is to protect their land and identity. Though locals have welcomed the Centre's decision to revoke Article 370 and make Ladakh a Union territory, they fear the influx of outsiders would lead to a change in the region's demography, jeopardize their culture and identity. In a memorandum to Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda, Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal said the region is a predominantly tribal area with tribals making up to 98 per cent of its population.

"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," the BJP MP said at the launch of a nine-day Aadi Mahotsav here on Saturday. Namgyal appealed to Munda to declare it a tribal area under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution to protect the interests of its people. Based on Articles 244(2) and 275(1), the Sixth Schedule provides for the adminstration of tribal areas in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram after setting up autonomous district and regional councils. "I appeal to you to make a representation to Home Minister Amit Shah on our behalf to protect the demography and culture of Ladakh," Namgyal said.

With inputs from ANI

Also Read: Rajnath Singh approves relocation of 206 army officers to field units

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