Demand for statehood, constitutional safeguards grows louder in Ladakh

Demand for statehood, constitutional safeguards grows louder in Ladakh
File Photo of Ladakh

Leh: Several new demands including full statehood was added in 2021 to an already sustained campaign for constitutional safeguards under the Sixth Schedule for Ladakh as people of both Leh and Kargil threatened to intensify their agitation after the “harsh winter”.

The scarcely populated Ladakh usually remains cut off from the rest of the world owing to the closure of Srinagar-Leh and Manali-Leh national highways due to heavy snowfall during winters, is also grappling with the spike in COVID-19 cases since November after overcoming the second wave in March-April. It has prompted the local administration to impose several restrictions including a night curfew and the closure of schools.

Ladakh was carved out of Jammu and Kashmir as a separate union territory on August 5, 2019, following the reorganisation of the erstwhile state after its special status under Article 370 was revoked.

Jammu and Kashmir was also downgraded to a union territory.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, during a visit to inspect the ongoing work on the Zojila Tunnel on the Srinagar-Leh highway in September, assured the people that the Centre would change the developmental scenario of Ladakh in the next two years.

The local administration also issued an order making Permanent Resident Certificates, issued before August 5, 2019 development, as mandatory for getting 'resident certificates' for the people of Leh and Kargil after the locals rejected domicile certificates on the pattern of J&K.

Greater Kashmir