Ladakh agitation intensifies as protesters threaten march to border with China

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Srinagar, March 28 (IANS) The agitation in Ladakh UT intensified on Thursday after the Leh Apex Body and climate activist, Sonam Wangchuk announced a march to the border on April 7.

Climate activist Wangchuk has called the decision to march to the border a “Gandhian way of protest” to safeguard the interests of the fragile environment and the people of the region.

The Leh Apex Body is agitating for grant of statehood to Ladakh and inclusion of the region in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution for the protection of the environment.

The protesters have decided to continue the ongoing hunger strike which the Leh Apex Body said will be followed by a chain of hunger strikes by women, youth, religious leaders and elders.

The April 7 protest march is proposed to be taken to Changthang which borders with China.

“This would be like Gandhi ji’s Dandi March”, the leaders said.

Climate activist, Sonam Wangchow has alleged that the Changthang grazers, famous for producing Pashmina wool, are being forced to sell their animals because over 20,000 acres of grazing land was taken by industrialists to set up their plants.

“We do not want solar energy at the cost of our people’s livelihood and dislocation. They are taking away our land because there are no safeguards”, Wangchuk alleged.

He accused the BJP of backtracking from its promises to the people of Ladakh.

“We were shocked when the Union Home Ministry straightway rejected our demands on March 4. We are seeking our rights and fulfilment of the promises. Parliamentary polls have been announced and the BJP is again making various guarantees to the people, but who is going to buy these promises this time”, he added.

Ladakh Lok Sabha seat was won by the BJP candidate, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal in 2019.



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