President Droupadi Murmu arrived in Leh on Tuesday, November 1, 2023, on her maiden two-day visit to the newly-carved Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh. She was accorded a warm welcome by Ladakh Lieutenant Governor Brigadier (retired) B.D. Mishra at the Leh airport.
On the first day of her visit, the President attended the fourth Ladakh Union Territory Foundation Day at Sindhu Sanskriti Kendra in Leh. The J&K Reorganisation Act, which was introduced after the Centre ended J&K’s special constitutional position and created two UTs of J&K and Ladakh on August 5, 2019, completed four years on October 31.
On the second day of her visit, the President is scheduled to visit the Siachen Base Camp and interact with troops. She will also attend a civic reception to be hosted in her honour at Leh. In addition, she will interact with members of self-help groups and local tribals in Leh.
- Union Territory of Ladakh: The Union Territory of Ladakh was created on August 5, 2019, after the Central government reorganized the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Ladakh is located in the northeastern part of India and is bordered by Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan.
- J&K Reorganisation Act: The J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019, is an act of the Parliament of India that reorganizes the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The act also abrogates the special constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution of India.
- Siachen Glacier: The Siachen Glacier is the highest battlefield in the world, located at an altitude of 20,000 feet in the Karakoram range. It is disputed between India and Pakistan, and both countries maintain a military presence on the glacier.
- President Murmu’s visit to Ladakh is a significant event, as it underlines the Central government’s commitment to the development of the newly-carved UT.
- The visit also sends a strong message to Pakistan that India is committed to defending its borders in even the most challenging conditions.
- President Murmu’s interaction with the troops at the Siachen Base Camp is a boost to their morale and will motivate them to continue serving the nation with distinction.
- The President’s interaction with members of self-help groups and local tribals is an important step towards understanding their needs and aspirations. It will also help to promote inclusive development in Ladakh.
President Murmu’s visit to Ladakh is a timely reminder of the importance of the UT in India’s national security and development. The visit is also a testament to the Central government’s commitment to the welfare of the people of Ladakh.