National security paramount, not against defense projects in Ladakh: Sonam Wangchuk

Climate activist Sonam Wangchuk said on Tuesday, April 2 that statehood and constitutional protection under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution will not affect defense and national security-related projects in Ladakh.

Wangchuk said this during an online meeting with climate groups and civil society organisations, which was called to review preparations for the planned march to Changthang (on the border with China, east of Leh) on April 7.

He recently went on a 21-day fast, in which he survived only on salt and water, to demand that Ladakh be granted statehood and included under the Sixth Schedule, an ecologically fragile region. Will help protect India from “greedy” industries.

When a participant asked whether the campaign demanding inclusion of Ladakh in the Sixth Schedule would affect projects related to defense and national security in the border areas, Wangchuk said, “National security is our top priority. It is paramount. We They are demanding protection from mindless exploitation.” Industry.”

In an online press conference last week, Wangchuk had said: “While industries exploit the wealth of the Himalayas, local people bear the brunt of disasters. The government uses taxpayers’ money for rehabilitation efforts. Therefore, those who benefit They are not held accountable.”

He had said, “Bureaucrats in places like Chandigarh or Lucknow cannot fully understand its fragility. The best ones can make mistakes and the worst ones will sell it to industries.”

After the abrogation of Article 370, Ladakh became a separate union territory “without a legislature”. The Buddhist-dominated Leh district had long demanded Union Territory status as it felt neglected by the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir government.

However, with the administration of the region now entirely in the hands of bureaucrats, many in Ladakh demand that the UT be included in the Sixth Schedule, which provides for the formation of Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) with legislative, judicial and administrative autonomy. Makes provisions. Within a state.