‘What’s Ladakh sin?’ asks Wangchuk as statehood demand gains ground

The protest was held a day after engineer-innovator Sonam Wangchuk completed his five-day ‘climate fast’ to put forth the same demands.

Published: 01st February 2023 08:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st February 2023 08:10 AM   |  A+A-


Express News Service

SRINAGAR:  Over three years after the Ladakh Union Territory was created from the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state following the abrogation of Article 370, people of Leh district held a mega rally on Tuesday to demand statehood and 6th Schedule status for the UT.

The mega rally was held at Polo Ground, Leh, where thousands of people braved the cold to press for their demands. The protest was held a day after engineer-innovator Sonam Wangchuk completed his five-day ‘climate fast’ to put forth the same demands.

The gathering was addressed by politicians, religious leaders, civil society members, traders and student union leaders, who raised slogans in favour of statehood and 6th Schedule status. The Ladakh UT comprises two districts -- the Buddhist-dominated Leh and the Muslims-dominated Kargil region. 

Addressing the rally on Tuesday, Wangchuk said,“We had thought that the creation of the union territory would be better for Ladakh as we would have a legislature, and decisions will be taken according to people’s wishes. But we have not seen anything like that. Only one man (Lt Governor) is taking decisions for us.”

Pitching for statehood to Ladakh, Wangchuk added, “What sin has Ladakh done that it will be kept without representation and democracy? Is it the punishment for Ladakhis for supporting the Indian Army?”
Wangchuk, who inspired the Hindi film 3 Idiots, said people are demanding the 6th Schedule status for Ladakh to safeguard its environment. “We want Ladakh and Himalayas glaciers to be saved. They provide water to both Ladakh and  to the entire country,” he said.

Wangchuk urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to invite the local leaders for a meaningful dialogue on the issue. The Leh Apex Body and Kargil Democratic Alliance, two socio-religious, political and youth organisations of Leh and Kargil districts, are jointly spearheading a campaign to ask for full statehood, 6th Schedule status, two Lok Sabha seats and jobs to locals in Ladakh.


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  • Nawang

    It's 6th schedule demand not statehood. Make it clear. Sonam wangchuk doesn't mention statehood demand
    1 month ago reply
  • Param

    Absolutely sane demand! Ladhak should be granted statehood, sooner the better. That would in effect seal the abrogation of 370 and more so 35! And to top it all it is the correct thing to do as it is the right of the Ladhaki's.
    1 month ago reply
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