Statehood to constitutional safeguards: Sonam Wangchuk to lead Pashmina March in Leh on April 17

On April 17, Ram Navami festival Ladakhi innovator Sonam Wangchuk announced a Pashmina March in Leh

By Anoushka Caroline Williams  Published on  15 April 2024 5:45 AM GMT
Statehood to constitutional safeguards: Sonam Wangchuk to lead Pashmina March in Leh on April 17

Hyderabad: Renowned Ladakhi innovator Sonam Wangchuk has announced a Pashmina March in Leh on April 17.

The march will coincide with Ram Navami.

The march aims to advocate for constitutional safeguards and statehood for Ladakh. Wangchuk, along with scores of other protestors, celebrated the birth anniversary of Bhim Rao Ambedkar at the protest site, emphasizing the importance of constitutional rights.

Demands for Constitutional Safeguards:

Wangchuk emphasized the importance of holding the government accountable to its promises, stating, "We want to remind this government of the promises it made... We hope that they will honor the teachings of Ramji as his true Bhakts and fulfill the promise made to the people of Ladakh."

Pashmina March Details:

The Apex Body Leh, comprising social, religious, business, and political organizations, has organized the Pashmina March, with around two dozen participants slated to embark on a ten-day journey on foot.

Wangchuk emphasized the peaceful nature of the march, stating, "It will be a peaceful march on foot... to reach the grazing land that is being given away to the big corporations by the government without the consent from locals."

Government Response:

Earlier, the Ladakh administration's deployment of forces and imposition of section 144 had deterred plans for the Pashmina March. However, Wangchuk expressed optimism that the smaller-scale march would proceed unhindered, urging the government to confirm their claim that "not an inch of our land" has been lost.

Criticism of Government Stance:

Wangchuk criticized Home Minister Amit Shah's stance on Ladakh's demands, claiming, "People of Ladakh are angry with Home Minister Amit Shah... [who] had clearly said that neither sixth schedule nor statehood will be given to Ladakh."

He further expressed disappointment in Shah's recent statement regarding land disputes with China, questioning the government's commitment to addressing local concerns.

Appeal to the Nation:

Wangchuk called upon people across the country to amplify the voices of Ladakhis and ensure their grievances reach the central government.

He urged a reevaluation of what constitutes "anti-national," stating, "Is anti-national the one who handed over the land to China or those who are crying and seeking help to stop this land grab by China? You have to decide this."

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