Climate Activist Sonam Wangchuk Ends 21-Day Hunger Strike Over Ladakh Demands

Leh: Noted climate activist Sonam Wangchuk has ended his 21-day hunger strike to press statehood for Ladakh and protection of the fragile Himalayan ecology.

“I will continue to fight for constitutional safeguards for Ladakh and political rights for its people,” the education reformer said after ending his hunger strike.

Thousands gathered in various parts of the Union Territory as Wangchuk ended the strike. Women’s groups have said they will now start a hunger strike over the same demands.

Wangchuk, on Tuesday, made a fresh appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fulfil promises made to the people. In a video message shared on X, a frail-looking Wangchuk called upon the people of Ladakh to use their franchise “very carefully” this time in the interest of the nation.

Wangchuk had been on a ‘climate fast’ in sub-zero temperature since March 6, following a stalemate in discussion between the joint representatives of the Leh-based Apex Body and the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) and the Central government on March 5. These groups demanded Ladakh’s statehood and its inclusion in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

The Sixth Schedule contains provisions related to administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram through autonomous district councils.

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