Leaders threaten to intensify protests across Ladakh after Feb 19

Jammu: Leaders in Ladakh region of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir have issued a stern warning to the Modi regime, threatening to embark on a hunger strike if their demands were not met by February 19.

According to Kashmir Media Service, former Member of Indian Parliament Thupstan Chewang and environmentalist Sonam Wangchuk addressed a press conference in Leh, emphasizing their four-point agenda.

The Apex Body Leh Chairman, Chewang, expressed frustration over the delaying tactics being employed by the Modi government in the name of talks. He disclosed that the so-called High Powered Committee (HPC) had requested written demands from both the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) and the Apex Body, leading to the submission of a draft proposal. However, the anticipated second round of talks was significantly delayed, prompting widespread protests across the Ladakh region.

Chewang announced that the leaders would patiently await the outcome of the February 19 meeting with the HPC. If the results are favorable to the people of Ladakh, they will welcome it. However, in the case of a negative or non-committal response, the leaders are prepared to escalate their protests across the region.

To underscore their determination, Chewang disclosed the formation of a committee tasked with organizing a hunger strike featuring both himself and Sonam Wangchuk if the HPC fails to address their demands adequately. The hunger strike will persist until the leaders’ demands for constitutional safeguards and full statehood for Ladakh are met.

Sonam Wangchuk, a Ramon Magsaysay Award winner and a key advocate for Ladakh’s constitutional safeguards, announced plans for a fast unto death starting February 19. He expressed the growing desperation among local residents due to unfulfilled demands, including protection under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and full statehood for Ladakh.

The Ladakh region recently witnessed a massive protest rally, with around 30,000 residents participating – a historic display of unity. As the leaders prepare for the crucial meeting, the specter of a hunger strike looms large, signaling the depth of discontent and the urgent need for the Modi government to address the legitimate concerns of the people of Ladakh.

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