LAB announces foot march to Changthang

LEH: Days after withdrawing its call for border march amidst imposition of restrictions by administration, Leh Apex Body (LAB) today said a small group of their representatives would undertake a foot march in coming days to Changthang near China border to show the reality of farmers losing their pasture land in the absence of sixth schedule.

Making the announcement at a press Conference here, Climate activist Sonam Wangchu who is part of the LAB said the march will be undertaken “very soon” but the dates are yet to be decided.

The LAB, along with the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), is spearheading an agitation over the past four years to demand Statehood for Ladakh and its inclusion in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

“Over 40,000 acres of prime pasture land is being handed over to industrialists for setting up solar projects. We want to show this reality and have decided to undertake a foot march to Changthang…Only 10 to 20 leaders involved in the ongoing agitation will be part of the march who will go from village to village to show how much land was taken away,” Wangchuk said.

He said the administration will allow the march, considering the statement of the home Minister that not a single inch of land was taken by China.

Wangchuk said the aim of the march is to convey a message to the people in Ladakh and outside that the people are losing their home land in absence of any protection under the Sixth Schedule.

“We have not yet decided the dates for the march but it will take place very soon. It will be a peaceful march like Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi or Salt March,” he said.

He said the meeting also decided to continue the ongoing struggle through chain hunger strikes and protests without affecting the farming activities and tourism which has started picking up with the onset of the spring.

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