Shutdown in Ladakh, residents hold protest rally demanding statehood, constitutional safeguards

Protest rally in Leh on February 3, 2024. [Photo: X/ Sajjad Kargili]

Leh: A shutdown is underway in Kargil district, while a protest rally held in Leh district of the Ladakh union territory on Saturday.

This collective action follows the call made by the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) and Leh Apex Body (LAB), two conglomerates representing diverse political, social, religious, and student organizations in Ladakh.

The joint call for a complete ‘Kargil bandh’ and ‘Leh Chalo’ on February 3 aims to advocate for four key demands: Statehood for Ladakh, Constitutional Safeguards under the Sixth Schedule, a Public Service Commission (PSC) for Ladakh, an expedited job recruitment process, and the establishment of two separate parliamentary seats for Leh and Kargil.

The LAB and KDA convened meetings in Kargil and Leh, jointly announcing the region-wide bandh on February 3. Reports indicate a full-scale bandh in Kargil district, marked by the closure of all businesses and private offices, with a halt in transportation services.

Leh witnessed a protest rally led by the Leh Apex Body, drawing participation from hundreds of people. Both alliances emphasize the need for unity in advocating for Ladakh’s statehood, special status under the sixth schedule of the Constitution, the formation of a public service commission, job reservations for locals, an expedited recruitment drive, and distinct representation for Leh and Kargil districts in Parliament.

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