Kargil shuts down for half day to demand full statehood for Ladakh

Sonam Wangchuk's fast enters 15th day, plans Border march

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Kargil shuts down for half day to demand full statehood for Ladakh
Kargil shuts down for half day to demand full statehood for Ladakh

SRINAGAR — Kargil witnessed a significant shutdown as thousands of demonstrators, led by the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), rallied from Fatima Chowk to Hussaini Park, vocally advocating for full statehood and inclusion in the Sixth Schedule for Ladakh. The demonstration, held in the main market, resonated with fervent slogans demanding greater political autonomy.

According to reports received by the news agency KNO, the KDA, alongside Leh Apex Bari (LAB), garnered support from diverse political, social, and religious organizations representing both Kargil and Leh districts. For the past four years, these groups have tirelessly championed the cause of Ladakh’s statehood and constitutional safeguards under the Sixth Schedule.

In response to unsuccessful negotiations with the Central government, KDA co-chairman Asghar Ali Karbalai rallied the crowd at Hussaini Park, urging them to brace for an extended struggle. He announced plans for a hunger strike commencing on March 24, emphasizing the need for a robust response following the government’s dismissal of their core demands on March 4.

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Karbalai articulated the unwavering resolve of Ladakhi people in the face of governmental apathy, asserting, “Despite several rounds of talks, the government’s attitude has been dismissive. They underestimate our determination, assuming they can quell Ladakh’s voice with force. But we stand resolute, prepared to escalate our demands.”

Reports inform that the KDA leadership is set to convene with LAB counterparts in Leh to devise a collaborative strategy, intensifying the movement’s momentum.

Meanwhile, environmental activist Sonam Wangchuk’s fast enters its 15th day, underscoring the gravity of Ladakh’s demands. Wangchuk’s steadfast protest, fueled only by water and salt, underscores the urgency of Ladakh’s plight and the collective responsibility to safeguard its environmental integrity.

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Addressing the pressing need to address Ladakh’s socio-economic challenges, Wangchuk expressed plans for a border march, aiming to spotlight the region’s ground realities. He emphasized the imminent threat posed by industrial expansion in the south and Chinese encroachment in the north, rallying for national solidarity in upholding Ladakh’s interests.

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