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KargilLadakh Demands for Statehood and Sixth Schedule Intensify as Protests Continue

Ladakh Demands for Statehood and Sixth Schedule Intensify as Protests Continue


, Mar 20: The calls for granting statehood to and bringing the region under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution grew louder this week, as thousands took to the streets in Kargil in support of the demands. Following a strike called by the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), large crowds marched through the main market carrying banners that highlighted the key asks of statehood and special protections under the Sixth Schedule. All shops and businesses shut down for the day as residents came together in the rally that ended at Hussaini Park. Addressing the gathering, KDA leaders spoke of intensifying the movement and continuing it through peaceful means like hunger strikes, while also preparing for a long struggle. They announced that hunger strikes would commence in Kargil from the 24th of March if the demands continue to be denied.

Meanwhile in , climate activist Sonam Wangchuk's hunger strike protesting threats to Ladakh's fragile ecology entered its 15th day. Through social media posts and videos, he stressed on the importance of preserving Ladakh's glaciers which are a lifeline for the region as well as crucial water reserves for North . Warnng that global warming coupled with local pollution from activities like mining could lead to Ladakhis becoming “climate refugees”, he urged the government to safeguard the area under the Sixth Schedule. The protests come after failure of talks with the central government who have rejected both the demands for statehood as well as special protections. Political leaders have also voiced support, with CPI(M)'s Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami saying the demands need urgent addressing to resonate with Ladakhi aspirations. As agitations continue across the region, all eyes remain on the Centre's response.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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