Parliament panel to visit J&K and Ladakh from August 16 to 22
The parliamentary standing committee on home affairs will tour Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from August 16 to 22 for an “in-depth” understanding of the region’s issues.
The multi-party panel of 28 MPs is scheduled to visit a few border outposts on the Line of Actual Control, but not near the friction points where Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a standoff since May last year.
Between August 17 and 21, the panel members will meet officials, ordinary people and other stakeholders in both Union Territories.
Sources said the panel, led by Congress member Anand Sharma, would arrive at Leh in Ladakh on August 16 and hold meetings there on August 17.
The MPs will then fly to Srinagar to hold meetings on August 18, 19 and 20. The panel will meet stakeholders in Jammu on August 21 before returning to Delhi on August 22.
During the tour, the panel will review the functioning of the CRPF as well as the ITBP and the BSF, which are deployed on the India-Pakistan border and the India-China frontier.
The panel members will visit some of the ITBP outposts on the China frontier as well as CRPF camps in Srinagar.
The Rajya Sabha secretariat has asked the Union home ministry to organise the visit and arrange for lodging and local transport.
Last October, the Centre had opposed a proposal for a Ladakh visit by a parliamentary committee that wanted to see how well the soldiers deployed in high-altitude forward areas had been clothed and equipped for the biting winter.
The House panel was examining a CAG report that had flagged shortages of snow goggles and multi-purpose boots for the soldiers deployed in high altitude in Siachen and Ladakh.
The defence ministry had in a letter said it would not be advisable for Parliament’s public accounts committee to visit Ladakh given the continuing border standoff with China.