Monastery problem solved after 5 decades: The Tribune India

Arjun Sharma

Jammu, September 3

The five-decade-old controversy over a Buddhist monastery (gompa) in Muslim-dominated Kargil was dropped after Muslims and Buddhists in the cold desert met to reach a conclusion on Saturday. Now, two channel land will be allocated in Kurbathang (new city area) by Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Kargil, in favor of Ladakh Buddhist Association for construction of gompa.

KDA and LBA members at a meeting. Grandstand photo

In June this year, an influential Buddhist monk had planned a march in Ladakh, demanding the upgrade of the makeshift gompa on the two-channel land in the old city into a proper monastery which had sparked communal tensions in the territory of the Union. The march was canceled halfway after government intervention.

The controversy had prompted two major organizations in Ladakh – the Democratic Alliance of Kargil (backed by Muslims) and the Buddhist Association of Ladakh – to engage in talks on the issue. “At a meeting today, the LBA and KDA decided that dual channel land would be allocated in Kurbathang (New Town) through the Ladakh Hill Autonomous Development Council, Kargil, in favor of the LBA,” said a joint statement signed by leaders of the LBA and the KDA.

The controversy began when the then J&K government in 1969 amended the 1961 order for building a monastery on the land, stating that a structure solely for commercial or residential purposes could be built on the site. from the old town of Kargil where the makeshift gompa used to exist.

The joint statement signed by LBA Chairman Thupstan Chewang states: “The land allocated in favor of the LBA under the J&K Government Ordinance in 1969 will be honored by all stakeholders and that the land in question will be used only for the purposes mentioned. in this order.”

All stakeholders including KDA co-chairman Qammar Ali Akhone also agreed to work together to maintain communal harmony in Ladakh.

Kargil LAHDC Chairman Feroze Ahmed Khan said the council would speed up the land allocation process in Kurbathang.

Controversy

  • In 1961, the then J&K government allocated land to Buddhists for a monastery, but the order was changed in 1969, allowing a single commercial or residential structure to be built where the makeshift gompa exists.
  • Since then, Buddhists had opposed the government order

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