KDA calls for half-day strike in Kargil as agitation likely to intensify in Ladakh

The Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) has called for a half-day general strike on March 20 in solidarity with renowned education reformist Sonam Wangchuk whose hunger strike in support of statehood and constitutional safeguards for the Union Territory of Ladakh
Strike by Kargil Democratic Alliance
Strike by Kargil Democratic Alliance

Leh | The Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) has called for a half-day general strike on March 20 in solidarity with renowned education reformist Sonam Wangchuk whose hunger strike in support of statehood and constitutional safeguards for the Union Territory of Ladakh entered 13th day on Monday.

The agitation in Ladakh in support of the demands is likely to intensify further in the coming days with the KDA and Leh-based Apex body planning to chalk out a joint strategy after their meeting with the Union Home Ministry early this month hit a deadlock.

Wangchuk, a key campaigner for constitutional safeguards for Ladakh, on Monday said that 250 people slept hungry in minus 12 degrees Celsius to “remind the Indian government of their promises to safeguard Ladakh's environment and tribal indigenous culture".

“This Government likes to call India the 'Mother of Democracy'. But if India denies democratic rights to people of Ladakh & continues to keep it under bureaucrats controlled from New Delhi then it could only be called a Stepmother of Democracy as far as Ladakh is concerned,” Wangchuk wrote on X.

Wangchuk has been on “climate fast” here since March 6, a day after talks between the representatives of KDA-Apex body and the Central government failed.

In Kargil, the KDA announced a half-day general strike on March 20 and a protest rally in support of Wangchuk and the ongoing agitation.

“The decision to observe the half-day strike was taken at a meeting. We will also brief the people about the talks with the government,” KDA co-chairman Qamar Ali Akhoon told reporters.

Asgar Ali Karbalai, who is also the co-chairman of the KDA, said the ongoing agitation in Ladakh is not restricted to one community or one district as is being projected by some vested interests who want to pitch the people of Ladakh against each other.

“We have called a strike and protest rally to put all types of rumours to rest. Everyone in Ladakh is part of the agitation and united in support of the demands,” he said.

Karbalai said the leadership of both KDA and Apex body are shortly meeting in Leh or Kargil to chalkout the future strategy after the Centre's rejection of the main demands -- statehood and constitutional safeguards under the sixth schedule.

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