About Us | Contact Us | E-Paper
Title :    Text :    Source : 

Wangchuk on 5-day fast to save ‘ecology and autonomy’ of Ladakh

Post by Irfan Yattoo on Monday, January 30, 2023

First slide

Srinagar, 29 Jan: Sonam Wangchuk, a Ladakhi engineer and innovator has been observing a five-day climate fast to save the “ecology and autonomy” of Union Territory.

The education reformist, who inspired a pivotal character in the Bollywood blockbuster 3 Idiots, announced the hunger strike at the 18,380 feet high Khardung La from Jan 26 to invite the Union Government’s attention to the demands of the people of Ladakh.

However, Wangchuk claimed that he was put under house arrest after he announced the hunger strike at the Khardung La, where the temperature dips to minus 40.

“The government does not want the people outside Ladakh to listen to what is happening here. And they do not want to get it highlighted,” he told Rising Kashmir.

Wangchuk alleged that the Government of India and UT Administration is a failure in Ladakh region adding, “We were better with Jammu and Kashmir then the UT Ladakh and there was some freedom and safeguard.”

“It is sad to see the youth not getting employment. The government has promised some 12000 jobs which are just on papers only. In these three years the government has failed to come up with a policy for Ladakh,” he said.

Wangchuk said post abrogation of Article 370 that split J & K into two Union Territories, the funds from Centre have increased to Rs 600 cr but most of the money is getting lapse.

“When the UT was formed then govt. said the Ladakh budget would be non-lapsable. There is also no involvement of people in making decisions,” he said.

His demands include extension of the sixth schedule of the Constitution and environmental protection form unchecked industrial and commercial expansion. “It is a legal demand. When people talk about sixth schedule they get FIRs. Talking about sixth schedule is not a crime and it is the top manifesto of many political parties,” he said.

Wangchuk said if the situation continues and there would be a time when Ladakhis will be alienated.  “The people here are very sad,” he said.

On Jan 28, Wangchuk sought legal help over a "bond" he has been asked to sign by the administration amid his fast that began on Republic Day.

“Calling lawyers of the world. The Ladakh UT administration wants me to sign this bond even when only fasts and prayers are happening. Please advise. How right is it, should I silence myself! I don't mind arrest at all,” he said.

SSP Leh, P.D. Nitya told Rising Kashmir that Wangchuk had approached District Administration Leh with an application that he wanted to sit for 5- days of climate fast from Jan 26 at Khardung La.

“The weather conditions of that place aren’t suitable to stay there unsheltered. When the application came to us for comments we were concerned about his health since the region is cold. We can’t let any person to go to Khardung La and sit there for five days which was practically feasible for any one,” she said.

Latest Post