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Ladakh UT Agitation Intensifies: Protest March to Border Announced

Leh: The agitation in Ladakh Union Territory (UT) gained momentum, with the Leh Apex Body and climate activist Sonam Wangchuk declaring plans for a protest march to the border on April 7.

Wangchuk, renowned for his environmental advocacy, described the decision to march to the border as a “Gandhian way of protest” aimed at safeguarding the fragile environment and the interests of the region’s populace.

The Leh Apex Body, alongside Wangchuk, is pressing for the grant of statehood to Ladakh and advocating for the inclusion of the region in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution to ensure robust environmental protection measures.

As the agitation escalates, protesters have vowed to persist with the ongoing hunger strike, with plans for further demonstrations involving women, youth, religious leaders, and elders in the community.

The proposed April 7 protest march is slated to traverse to Changthang, situated on the border with China. Leaders likened the planned march to Mahatma Gandhi’s historic Dandi March, symbolizing their commitment to peaceful resistance.

Wangchuk raised concerns over the encroachment of grazing lands in Changthang, home to renowned Pashmina wool producers, alleging that industrialists have acquired over 20,000 acres of vital grazing lands for commercial purposes.

Expressing discontent over the alleged neglect of Ladakh’s demands, Wangchuk accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of reneging on promises made to the region’s people. He criticized the Union Home Ministry’s dismissal of their demands on March 4, stressing the need for the government to honor its commitments.

With parliamentary polls looming, Wangchuk questioned the credibility of the BJP’s assurances to Ladakh’s populace, citing skepticism among the residents regarding the fulfillment of electoral promises.

The Ladakh Lok Sabha seat, won by BJP candidate Jamyang Tsering Namgyal in 2019, remains a focal point of contention amid the ongoing unrest in the region.

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