Sonam Wangchuk
Sonam Wangchuk | Photo: GUERNICA

SRINAGAR — Renowned environmentalist Sonam Wangchuk, who recently concluded a 21-day fast in Leh, has pledged to escalate the movement for Ladakh’s full statehood and inclusion in the Sixth Schedule. Amid ongoing protests, including a hunger strike by women in Leh, Wangchuk emphasized a commitment to Gandhian principles in advancing the cause.

Addressing a rally organized by the Leh Apex Body (LAB) on Thursday, according to the news agency KNO, Wangchuk announced plans to intensify the struggle for Ladakh’s statehood and Sixth Schedule status, underscoring a peaceful approach inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. He outlined a forthcoming rally in Ladakh’s border areas on April 7 as part of this endeavour, aimed at garnering wider support for the cause while advocating for environmental conservation.

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LAB affirmed the continuation of the hunger strike, with diverse segments of society, including women, youth, students, and workers, actively participating. Wangchuk’s fast, which concluded recently, has been succeeded by a 10-day hunger strike by women, further amplifying the call for Ladakh’s statehood and Sixth Schedule inclusion.

Expressing disappointment with the BJP government’s failure to fulfil manifesto promises, Wangchuk highlighted the need for concrete action in response to Ladakh’s long-standing demands. He criticized the Union Home Ministry’s rejection of these demands and urged the government to honour its commitments.

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In addition to ongoing protests, Wangchuk outlined plans for a series of hunger strikes involving various stakeholders, including religious leaders and elders, to underscore the urgency of Ladakh’s statehood aspirations.

A planned march to Changthang on April 7 aims to shed light on the ground realities faced by Ladakh’s residents, amidst growing discontent over unmet promises and political representation.

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