Leh apex body movement gains momentum

Wangchuk, a prominent LAC member representing diverse social, religious, and political groups, stressed the importance of Gandhian principles in preserving Ladakh’s ecological balance and cultural identity.

| Updated: 28 March, 2024 4:24 pm IST
Sonam Wangchuck on Hunger Strike (Image Source: Social Media)

LADAKH: The Leh Alliance Council (LAC) orchestrated a demonstration on Wednesday led by educator and climate activist Sonam Wangchuk, intensifying the push for Ladakh’s Statehood and Sixth Schedule status.

Wangchuk, a prominent LAC member representing diverse social, religious, and political groups, stressed the importance of Gandhian principles in preserving Ladakh’s ecological balance and cultural identity. In conjunction with the rally, the LAC announced the continuation of a hunger strike, drawing participation from various segments of society, including women, youth, students, and activists.

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Wangchuk concluded his 21-day hunger strike yesterday, echoing the demand for Ladakh’s Statehood and Sixth Schedule status. He emphasized the need to fulfil commitments made by the current government, citing victories in the 2019 Parliamentary and 2020 Leh Hill Council elections. Following the initial hunger strike phase, a chain hunger strike will be initiated by women, youth, religious leaders, and elders. On April 7, a march to Changthang, mirroring Gandhi’s Dandi March, will commence, led by the Leh-based Apex body, to shed light on Ladakh’s ground realities.

Wangchuk voiced concerns over the loss of pasture land to industrialization and Chinese encroachments, particularly affecting Changthang grazers known for Pashmina wool production. Accusing the BJP of failing to honour promises, Wangchuk expressed disappointment with the Union Home Ministry’s rejection of demands on March 4 by representatives of the Leh Apex Body and the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA).

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“We demand our rights and the fulfilment of promises,” Wangchuk stated, questioning the credibility of BJP’s pledges ahead of Parliamentary polls. He urged the government to reconsider and grant Statehood to Ladakh, reaffirming his readiness to resume a hunger strike if demands remain unmet, stressing the fight for Ladakh’s future and its children.

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