NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) will hold a meeting next week if Ladakh should be declared a tribal area.
The meeting would be attended by Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Tribal Affairs, said an NCST official. This is the first in a series of meetings that the Commission will be holding. At a later stage, other stakeholders would also be part of the consultation process.
Recently, BJP MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal from Ladakh had submitted a memorandum to Minister of Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda that Ladakh should be declared as a tribal area.
This would help the people in the region preserve their cultural identity as Ladakh being predominantly a tribal area with tribals comprising 98 per cent of the population, Namgyal had said.
“The matter is under consideration at the Commission. The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes will be meeting officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Register General of India next week in order to discuss the issue in depth. This is a preliminary meeting and there are likely to be more meetings later,” said a Commission official.
The meeting is likely to be held on September 4.
“The Commission will take a holistic view of the issue,” added the official.
The discussions are also likely to assess the situations in other union territories (UTs). According to the 2011 Census, the scheduled tribe population in the UT of Lakshadweep is 94.80 per cent.
The NCST is planning to start a regional office in Srinagar after the abrogation of Article 370.
“The idea is to reach out to tribals in the remote areas. Tribal people can come to the regional office with their grievances. This office will cater to the tribal population of the UTs of J&K and Ladakh,” said the official.