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Turtuk people demand a part of PM’s Rs 2,000 crore package for displaced people of Indo-Pak wars of 65 and 71
feel ignored, ask for a separate assembly constituency


Jammu/ Nubra (Ladakh), February, (Scoop News)-All Balti Students of Association of Nubra and Leh (ABSANL) have appealed Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to have insight of the problems being faced by people in these far off and remote border areas.

“There are no basic facilities like electricity, water and roads which could connect their place (Turtuk) with rest of the nation,” ABSANL president, Abdul Qadir told media persons in Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, on Friday.

“The people of the area are mostly dependent on defence forces for basic facilities and other logistics which the local or central government should have provided them,” he added.

Qadir referred to Prime Minister’s address from ramparts of Lal Qila on last Independence Day when he spoke about the adverse conditions prevailing in Gilgit- Baltistan but he forgot to mention the plight of the people of Turtuk area in Nubra tehsil which got liberated and merged with India during the Indo-Pak war of 1971.

Turtuk has a miniscule population which belongs to Balti community an archaic sect of ethnic Tibetan (hybrid of Mongol and Aryan) and depends on marginal farming and doing labour with the army. The area is situated at the proximity of Line of Control (LoC) adjacent to Siachen glacier.

He said PM had expressed great concern for Pakistan’s Balochistan province but he should have first thought of a cluster of villages in Turtuk area like Groung, Tyakshi, Pachathang, Turtuk Farool, Choulungkha, Thang, Turtuk Youl and Garri most of which were part of Pakistan before 1971.

“We demand allocation of funds to the Turtuk area out of PM’s special development package of rupees 2,000 crore announced for the development of displaced people of Ino-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971,” Qadir demanded.

He further demanded that Turtuk villages should come under the J&K Reservation Rules of 2005, inhibiting areas close to LoC, construction of the Turtuk- Hanu road and opening of Degree College in Turtuk.

Qadir also highlighted the step motherly treatment meted out to twin districts of Leh and Kargil in Ladakh region and said that no interest was taken to open Turtuk- Khaplu route in Leh district and Kargil- Skardu in district Kargil.

ABSANL president said the J&K Constitution envisaged that 24 seats of legislators in the state assembly to be reserved for those living in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) including Gilgit-Baltistan and the people of Turtuk have a legitimate right to contest from one of those reserved seats as we have merged with our own country and the state as well.

“The government should come forward with some bold and concrete steps by announcing at least a seat in the state legislative assembly from a liberated area from the seats reserved for PoK,” Qadir asserted and said this will give fillip to the development of the area.

This would flash a message of concerned to the other side of LoC, he averred.

“We have made repeated representations to the concerned authorities for past nearly five decades but no one paid any heed to our legitimate demands. We have been living in total isolation as no basic right was granted to us,” Qadir said.

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