The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs will visit Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh between August 17 and 21 to assess matters related to the administration, development and people’s welfare in the Union Territories, reported the Hindustan Times on Monday.
The members of the panel will hold meetings with stakeholders along with representatives from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the administrations of the Union Territories, said a communication from the Rajya Sabha secretariat.
It is, however, not clear how many panel members will travel to Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The committee, led by Congress MP Anand Sharma, has 28 members.
The panel will hold deliberations in Leh on August 17 and then will fly to Srinagar to hold meetings on August 18, 19 and 20, according to the Deccan Herald.
The Rajya Sabha secretariat said that the panel also wants to review and be briefed about the working conditions of the three armed forces – the Indo-Tibet Border Police, the Central Reserve Police Force and the Border Security Force – deployed in the region.
The panel is also likely to visit the outposts manned by the ITBP and the BSF along the Indo-China and Indo-Pakistan border, according to officials.
In October last year, the panel wanted to visit Ladakh to check how well the soldiers deployed in high-altitude forward areas were clothed and equipped for the winter, reported The Telegraph. But, the Centre opposed the proposal.
The came after a Comptroller and Auditor General of India report flagged shortages of snow goggles and multi-purpose boots for the soldiers deployed at high altitudes in Siachen and Ladakh.
This year’s proposed visit comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir in June. It was the first meeting between both the sides since Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was abrogated on August 5, 2019.
The esrtwhile state was split into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Curfews and internet blockades were imposed in the region after that.
Almost all of Kashmir Valley’s political leadership, including Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, were put under detention. Farooq Abdullah was released from detention on March 13, 2020. Omar Abdullah’s detention was also revoked over a week later. People’s Conference chief Sajjad Lone was released in July, while Mufti’s detention ended on October 13.