Ladakh students take out rally for 6th Schedule, begin hunger strike

Ladakh students observing sit-in for highlighting demand of 6th Schedule. —Excelsior/Morup Stanzin
Ladakh students observing sit-in for highlighting demand of 6th Schedule. —Excelsior/Morup Stanzin

Excelsior Correspondent
LEH, Dec 12: Demanding 6th Schedule and job reservation, various student organizations of Leh took out a massive rally, here today and began indefinite hunger strike in support of their demands.
Various student organizations, under the banner of Students Organisation of Unified Ladakh (SOUL) took out the rally from NDS Stadium to Leh Bazaar. Holding placard, the students in their strongest voice raised demand for 6th Schedule.
Braving the prevailing bone chilling cold in the region, the protesting students sat on hunger strike to press their demands and appealed all people to join them if have concern for future of Ladakh.
SOUL President Rigzin Dorjay alleged that they had plan for bigger protest including complete shutdown and “Chakka Jam” procession to press their demand but some organizations like Taxi Union and Merchant Association did not support their protest. Levelling serious allegation against some officers and individuals trying to suppress their voice, Rigzin said: “We will not move back and will sit on hunger strike till our goal is achieved”.
He clarified that allegation against them for being politically motivate was totally wrong. “Student community is the future of Ladakh and that’s why we have serious concern for the future of Ladakh,” he explained and claimed to have support of all Ladakhi students studying out of the UT.
He added that BJP Parliamentary election manifestoes promised for 6th Schedule for Ladakh region, however after getting UT, Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal failed to raise the issue in the Parliament.
Former SOUL President Stanzin Tsetan said that future of students totally depends on 6th Schedule for Ladakh and all students including those studying outside demand for the same in one voice. He also appealed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal to understand the sentiment of Ladakh and grant 6th Schedule to Ladakh region to safeguard its land, job and identity. SOUL vice president Ibtesum Iqbal and Padma Otsal also addressed the gathering at Leh Bazar.