Kargil: Life remained crippled for the second consecutive day on Wednesday in protest against alleged discrimination with this border district in Ladakh region which has now become a Union Territory (UT) after bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir.
The state was bifurcated into two UTs — Ladakh region and Jammu and Kashmir–after scrapping of Article 370 and 35 A on August 5 by the centre.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Kargil had called for a three-day strike from October 29 alleging that assurance given by Governor Satya Pal Malik and state Chief Secretary about 14 point demands were not fulfilled so far.
Shops and business establishments remained closed for the second day on Wednesday and traffic was also off the roads in Kargil, which hit the headlines across the globe in 1999 when Pakistani intruders and occupied all heights at Line of Control (LoC). It took Indian Army about four months to push back the intruders. Work in government offices, banks and educational institutions was badly hit due to strike.
The strike will also continue on Thursday, when a candle light procession will be taken out in the evening.
The UT of Ladakh will come into existence on Thursday when first Lt Governor Rada Krishnan Mathur will take oath at Leh.
Secretary JAC Kargil Nasir Munshi said on Wednesday that strike will continue on Thursday in protest against alleged discrimination with the people of Kargil.
He said when divisional status was granted to Ladakh region, people of Kargil voiced their concern and said they wanted to remain with the Kashmir valley. However, later after it was agreed that Divisional Commissioner will stay for six months each on rotational basis at Leh and Kargil, the protest was withdrawn.
Mr Munshi said after the UT was announced for Ladakh, people of Kargil again hit the streets demanding justice. It was only after Mr Malik and chief secretary visited Kargil and met JAC and other representatives, a 14 charter of demands was presented before them.
He said the Governor agreed to immediately address the grievances which are within the jurisdiction of state and approach centre to resolve other demands of the JAC. “We demand that the office of Lt Governor and other bureaucrats should also function on rotational basis—six months in Leh and six months in Kargil,” he said.
Munshi said after scrapping of special status of the state, anyone can buy land and get employment in Ladakh.
“We demand a local Service Selection Board (SSB) for Leh and Kargil, he said adding the students of Ladakh region cannot compete with the students of other parts of the country where appointments are being made through Public Service Commission (PSC) and other central agencies. The youths of Kargil will lose employment opportunities to outsiders,” he alleged.