Ground Report | New Delhi: Why shutdown in Ladakh; Amid the bandh in the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh in support of the demand for statehood under the Sixth Schedule and constitutional safeguards for the tribal area.
The Union Territory of Ladakh witnessed an unprecedented strike today, with roads deserted, business establishments and shops closed, and people inside their homes in both Leh and Kargil.
Why shutdown in Ladakh
The strike call was made jointly by the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) and Leh Apex Body (LAB), a group of religious and political organizations from Kargil demand for statehood and constitutional safeguards under the sixth program for the tribal area. The groups are demanding a special recruitment drive to fill up over 10,000 vacancies for local youth, besides one more Lok Sabha seat and two Rajya Sabha seats.
According to reports, there is a complete strike in Leh and all shops are closed, roads are deserted and other business establishments are closed. In Kargil too, shops remained closed in Lal Chowk and other areas of the district and traffic remained off the road. Leaders and activists from both regions have been posting live visuals of deserted streets on social media.
Both the apex body and the KDA, which is a separate amalgamation of socio-religious, political and youth organizations of Leh and Kargil districts, were formed after August 5, 2019, when the central government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. and divided it into two parts. Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
While the people of Leh have welcomed the fulfillment of their long-pending demand for union territory status and the subsequent formation of the apex body in support of the demand for implementation of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution to protect their culture and identity Done, KDA was not in it. Supported Union Territory status and raised the demand for statehood to Ladakh.
Sajjad Kargili, a leader of the Kargil Democratic Alliance, told reporters in Kargil that he has only called for the strike and people have voluntarily supported the call. “People are peacefully supporting the strike call showing their displeasure with the present system,” he said.
He said that people are supporting the call to give statehood to Ladakh, represent Ladakh in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. “We have every right to protest peacefully and we believe that the government should listen to us.” “We should have a federal structure in Ladakh. We should have democratic institutions in Ladakh. We have huge support from the people.”
As per the Ladakh Resident Certificate Order 2021, any person who has a Permanent Resident Certificate issued by the Competent Authority in the districts of Leh and Kargil or belongs to a category of persons who shall be eligible to be issued a Permanent Resident Certificate by the Competent Authority. Authorities in Leh and Kargil districts will be eligible to obtain the Resident Certificate. Unlike Jammu and Kashmir, where the government has made it easier for outsiders to obtain a domicile certificate of J&K with a domicile law, the government in Ladakh has stuck to the old rules. (Why shutdown in Ladakh)
A wake-up call for Govt
Earlier reports said that China has engaged in increasing its military infrastructure in the Eastern Ladakh sector near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), on which India has expressed concern.
During the recent talks between the two countries, the Indian side discussed this issue with the Chinese Army in the Eastern Ladakh sector. ‘Live Mint’ quoting sources said that China is making new constructions on the LAC, including housing, roads, new highways, as well as deploying heavy weapons including missile regiments on its side. Because of this, the Indian side is very worried.
The increase in military infrastructure is particularly important, with highways being widened and new airstrips being built. These airstrips are separate from the main airbases Kashgar, Gar Gunsa, and Hotan.
Some experts believe that the 17-month-long military standoff on the border between India and China may deepen. At the same time, many believe that law is just a word – relations with India have been spoiled not by China’s domestic laws but by its move on the ground.
China has a 22,457 km long border with 14 countries including India. China has the longest border with India after Mongolia and Russia. Like India, Russia and Mongolia do not have any border dispute with China. Apart from India, China has a disputed 477 km long border with Bhutan.