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Business News/ Politics / News/  Ladakh protests: Sonam Wangchuk to launch fast unto death from February 19 for constitutional safeguards
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Ladakh protests: Sonam Wangchuk to launch fast unto death from February 19 for constitutional safeguards

The Leh Apex Body has been demanding the inclusion of Ladakh in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, which provides safeguards for tribal rights. It is in force in tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

Education reformist Sonam Wangchuk. (PTI)Premium
Education reformist Sonam Wangchuk. (PTI)

Sonam Wangchuk, a key campaigner for the group demanding constitutional safeguards for Ladakh, on Monday said they would launch a fast unto death from February 19 to press their demands, reported PTI.

According to the report, the details of the participation of local residents in the agitation were being worked out.

A sense of desperation is growing among the local residents over their unfulfilled demands, including safeguards under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and full statehood for Ladakh, Sonam Wangchuk claimed.

“First it will be Thupstan Chhewang (former BJP Lok Sabha MP) and me and if we die, who next and how many? All that roster is being prepared," Wangchuk was quoted as saying by PTI.

Earlier, he was planning to go on a three-week fast from February 3 but postponed it after Chhewang, the chairman of the Leh Apex Body (LAB), asked him to wait till February 19, when prominent leaders from the Union Territory would meet Union minister of state for home affairs Nityanand Rai in New Delhi.

The LAB has been demanding inclusion of Ladakh in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, which provides safeguards for tribal rights. It is in force in tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

The KDA has been demanding statehood for Ladakh.

On Saturday, Ladakh witnessed a major protest rally when the Union Territory observed a complete shutdown in response to calls given by the Leh Apex Body and the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) in support of their four-point agenda. 

“People came out in numbers like 30,000, which is unprecedented in the history of Ladakh. It's like one third of the adult population of Ladakh came out to tell the government that it was not the voice of one person but everyone wanted the safeguards for the region," Wangchuk told PTI

“All that the Sixth Schedule does is that it requires the consultation of local indigenous people in any agenda. It is about setting up councils of indigenous people with legislative rights, lawmaking rights, and any industry can come, but not without consultation or consent of the people," he also said. 

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Published: 05 Feb 2024, 11:04 PM IST
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