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IIOJK in focus

Ladakh was better-off with pre-2019 IIOJK: Leh-based activist

Leh, January 31 (KMS): Leh-based activist Sonam Wangchuk has said that seeing the current situation in Ladakh he thinks that the people of the cold desert region were better-off with pre-2019 Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Sonam Wangchuk, who on Monday completed a five-day fast to safeguards the glaciers, mountains, land and people of Ladakh by demanding the region’s inclusion under the Sixth Schedule, in one of his video statements on Twitter said, “I didn’t think I would ever say this, but I am saying that we were better-off with Jammu and Kashmir than today’s UT [Union Territory].”

The engineer and innovator-turned-climate activist said that the administration in Ladakh is “trying hard to sow seeds of militancy in the peaceful region”.

Wangchuk said the Leh administration asked him to sign a bond, adding the terms of the bond include that he will not comment, issue public statements, make speeches or hold/participate in any activity that is related to region. He said when he asked the officials what would happen if he didn’t sign the bond, he was told that he could be detained.

“These tactics are being employed by the L-G sahib [Ladakh Lt. Governor RK Mathur]. On this occasion, I would say that L-G sahib, you are working hard to sow the seeds of militancy in peaceful Ladakh. The way youth have been kept unemployed and are being oppressed, this can happen”, he added.

Earlier this month, Chering Dorjay, leader of the Apex Body of Leh and senior vice president of Ladakh Buddhist Association in an interview with an Indian TV channel had also said, “Given the present scenario, we feel the earlier arrangement of being part of J&K was better”. He rejected rejected the Modi-led Indian government’s committee and made it clear to India that people of Kargil and Leh region were better off with occupied Jammu and Kashmir before it was stripped of its special status on August 5, 2019 and divided in the name of two union territories.

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