No letting up in agitation till demands met
Leaders in Ladakh on Monday said that it would intensify protests across the union territory, including a fast unto death if there is no positive outcome during their meeting with High Powered Committee on Feb 19.
Former Member of Parliament Thupstan Chhewang said that a committee has been constituted, which has been tasked to go out to people on the ground and mobilise support for a massive protest will be held on the first day of their fast unto death across Ladakh.
Chhewang, the founding member of Leh Apex Body, addressing a news conference in Leh ahead of their talks with the High Powered Committee (HPC) led by MoS Home Nitiyanand Rai on February 19 reiterated the 4-point agenda of LAB and KDA.
There will be no let-up in agitation which will be similar to the 1989 agitation, if the demands are not met, he said.
Talking to reporters, Chhewang, who is also the president of Ladakh Buddhist Association, said that the talks with the centre have been going on for a very long now, but the last meeting with the HPC was the commencement of deliberations officially which was recorded as well.
“The High Powered Committee (HPC) had asked both KDA and Apex Body to submit demands in writing. After consultations, a draft proposal was submitted with the hope that it would lead to a second round of talks immediately. We were also assured by the HPC that the next round of talks would resume shortly, but it took a long,” said the Apex Body Chairman.
Chewang said that they responded to the long haul in the shape of a protest across Ladakh which was also supported by the region’s prominent environmentalist Sonam Wangchuk.
He said that they will wait for the outcome of the 19th February meeting with HPC and if that turns out to be positive and in favor of the people of Ladakh will be welcomed.
“In case, he said if there is nothing positive they will strengthen their protests across the region post-19 February,” he added.
Chewang said that they have also decided to form a committee to hold deliberations with people and include everyone including youth.
He informed that the Apex Body formed committee has been tasked to prepare for the hunger strike of both Thupstan Chewang and Sonam Wangchuk in case there is no positive response from HPC.
He said that no matter what, the hunger strike will continue until their demands are not met.
“If there is a proper positive response from HPC, then further course of action shall be deliberated upon and shared accordingly. In case of no positive response, then the strategy already discussed shall be implemented and walked upon,” the Chairman said.
To a query, he said that if there is any positive commitment from HPC, then there is a need to hold further rounds of talks.
“HPC still has time, and even if they can provide something through an ordinance it would be acceptable. Any positive commitment would also lead to engaging in further talks,” he said.
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