Leh administration withdraws restrictions on rallies after Sonam Wangchuk’s border march is called off

The government move to withdraw Section 144 comes as election dates near in Ladakh, and political parties have to start canvassing

Updated - April 09, 2024 07:25 pm IST

Published - April 09, 2024 06:30 pm IST - SRINAGAR

A child holds a placard during Sonam Wangchuk’s hunger strike protest on the 21st day in demand of the Statehood for Ladakh, and its inclusion in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution, in Leh.

A child holds a placard during Sonam Wangchuk’s hunger strike protest on the 21st day in demand of the Statehood for Ladakh, and its inclusion in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution, in Leh. | Photo Credit: ANI

The Leh administration on April 9 withdrew restrictions imposed on public gathering under Section 144, days after climate activist Sonam Wangchuk and the Leh Apex Body (LAB) called off their border march to highlight pastures usurped by China.

Santosh Sukhadeve, District Magistrate, Leh, in an order said the restrictions were revoked after the Senior Superintendent of Police informed there was “not any imminent apprehension of breach of peace and public order”.

A major security clampdown was carried out on Mr. Wangchuk and LAB activists ahead of the April 7 border march. Several bodies in Ladakh are demanding Statehood and the region’s inclusion in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

“We chose not to march to the borders but our goal is more than met by the government’s overreaction and desperation to cover up facts. The Indian Army is more than capable of dealing with intruders at the LAC if politicians just let them do their job,” Mr. Wangchuk, who recently held a 21-day long protest fast, said.

The government move to withdraw Section 144 comes as election dates near in Ladakh, and political parties have to start canvassing. General Election in Ladakh is slated for May 20.

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