Sonam Wangchuk starves for 21 days; govt keeps mum

The 58-year-old Wangchuk is also demanding representation in Parliament, so that the people raising their voices can be amplified as they call for the protection of Ladakh’s fragile ecosystem from industrial and mining lobbies.

The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution provides for the administration of tribal areas to safeguard the rights of the tribal population, such as in . This special provision is provided under Article 244(2) and Article 275(1) of the Constitution.

According to media reports, with Jammu and Kashmir looking forward to statehood after the 2024 Assembly polls, the climate activist has been concerned that Ladakh would remain relegated to the care of a bureaucracy.

Wangchuk, however, also thanked people across the country for their support and said this had boosted the protestors’ morale, adding that was confident of seeing India become a great nation in the times to come.

Meanwhile, Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) co-chairman Asgar Ali Karbalai on Sunday, 24 March, said the KDA and the apex body had unanimously decided to intensify the agitation with the start of Wangchuk’s hunger strike in Leh.

Karbalai said the protest in Leh and Kargil would end on 26 March evening and the people were requested to assemble in the district towns, where the concerned leadership will announce the future course of action.

Prominent KDA leader Sajjad Kargili said the people of Ladakh will continue their struggle in a “democratic and peaceful manner”.

“We request the government to open its heart and understand the concerns of the people of Ladakh,” he said.

Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases from 19 April to 1 June as Ladakh goes to the polls in the fifth phase on May 20.

Over the past 20 days, Wangchuk said, around 60,000 of Ladakh’s 3 lakh residents had participated in the hunger strike, demonstrating their pain, but “no word came from this government”.

With PTI inputs

Leave a Comment