Ladakh hunger strike reason: Everything you need to know!

Ladakh hunger strike reason: Sonam Wangchuk, the well-known environmentalist and educationist from Ladakh, started a 21-day hunger strike on March 6 in Leh. Leh is a town located at an elevation of around 3,500 meters in Ladakh’s chilly, dry Union Territory (UT). He referred to this hunger strike as a “climate fast.” 

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The strike was in solidarity with the thousands of people living in Ladakh calling for protection under the Indian Constitution’s Sixth Schedule. The strike was done so they could decide how to use and manage natural resources like water and land. As of right now, they can’t. 

On March 26, Mr. Wangchuk called off his hunger strike; however, ladies in Leh still participated. Older people, monks, and young people have all declared that they will gradually join the hunger strike if their demands are not satisfied.

Ladakh Hunger Strike Reason explained

Jammu & Kashmir State was divided into Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories in August 2019. It put an end to people’s exclusive rights to employment and land. 

Ladakh became a UT without a legislature in 2019 under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act. 

The head of the Leh Apex Body (LAB), Jigmat Paljor, stated, “Our UT is administered by a Lieutenant Governor, who is not a Ladakh resident, and yet is appointed to take decisions for our future.” LAB is a coalition of political, social, religious, and student organizations in the predominantly Buddhist Leh district,

Sajjad Kargil, a member of the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) core committee in the Kargil district, which is predominantly Muslim, stated that several bureaucrats holding significant positions and impacting future decisions for the region did not reside in Ladakh. 

KDA is an alliance of Kargil’s political, social, religious, and student organizations, much like LAB. 

Mr. Kargili further says that national government’s declaration of Ladakh as UT has left LAHDCs in Leh and Kargil helpless.

One example is the proposed Ladakh Industrial Land Allotment Policy, 2023. Although the proposed policy, intended to draw investments to Ladakh, gives the LAHDCs the authority to make land use and management decisions, it entirely strips them of any authority to make land allocation and lease-related matters. 

According to Mr. Paljor, the people living along the border in Ladakh were losing their grazing land to industries and China as well. These industries plan to build renewable energy projects. However, people could not stop the companies from exploiting their territory.

Is the strike right?

The LAB and the KDA have argued that the Sixth Schedule permits the creation of regional and district councils. “It grants councils authority to enact laws on land use for residential, agricultural, grazing, and other purposes. These laws serve the interests of the local population. They can help address various issues.”

“The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes recommended adding Ladakh to the Sixth Schedule in 2019. This was on view of its population of over 2.74 lakh, of which over 97% are tribal, according to the 2011 Census.”

In their manifestos for 2019 Lok Sabha and 2020 LAHDC elections, BJP also pledged to include Ladakh under Sixth Schedule. It still needs to be fulfilled.

LAB-KDA members conversed with ministers on at least ten occasions between 2020 and March 4 this year. This was an attempt to convince the BJP and the Union government to include Ladakh under the Sixth Schedule. These discussions have taken place with Union Home Minister Amit Shah numerous times, the most recent being on March 4.

Demands of the People of Ladakh

Mr. Kargili, who is involved in the negotiations with the Center, stated that since 2021, the LAB-KDA has demanded protections under the Sixth Schedule. The demands include:

  • Declaration of Ladakh as a UT with a legislature or as a state
  • A separate Public Service Commission for Ladakh
  • A separate parliamentary seats for Leh and Kargil.

The Center is not to accept them.

shubham sharma
shubham sharma
Shubham Sharma, a passionate content writer at Axpert Media, boasts around 3 years of writing experience. With a strong grasp of SEO and CMS, Shubham crafts compelling content that resonates with audiences. His expertise extends across creative writing, SEO writing and direct writing, creating a strategic online presence. While not penning down, he loves to binge-watch Netflix/ Prime Video. share win price

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