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“We Aspire to be with Kashmir,” Say Residents as Kargil Observes Shutdown

The strike call was even supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Kargil chief, Mohammad Ali Majaz.
We Aspire to be with Kashmir

New Delhi: General public of Kargil district in Ladakh observed a strike on August 6 to register their resentment against the “unjust” decision taken by the union government regarding the reorganisation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The strike call was given by a Joint Action Committee, which comprised representatives from all religious and political parties of Kargil district. Interestingly, the strike was even supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Kargil chief, Mohammad Ali Majaz, who was present in a meeting held on August 5.

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All the public and private establishments including transport are closed barring essential services in the district.

According to a document accessed by NewsClick, a joint meeting was held on August 5 in the office of the chairman of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil, Feroz Ahmed Khan, in order to assess the “fallout” of Amit Shah’s announcement of the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35 A of the Constitution of India.

Also read: Art 370: Centre Dishes Out Feudal Fare to Kashmiris

All the participants, including BJP’s Kargil chief, unanimously condemned and rejected the decision “which was taken without the consent from the people of Jammu & Kashmir and [goes] against the aspirations of the people of the state.”

NewsClick spoke to Sajjad Hussain, a social and political activist active in Ladakh, according to whom, the people of Kargil vehemently reject the bifurcation of the state and condemn the revocation of special provisions. He commented, the people of Kargil have always been opposed to the idea of dividing Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of region, religion or language.

“The people of Kargil have stood with the Indian regime even during the darkest hours of wars in the past,” he said, adding, “however, after yesterday’s announcement we feel betrayed and demand from the government not to divide the state.”

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Whatever happens with Kashmir, the people of Kargil aspires to be with them, he added.

Hussain also criticised the Modi government for snatching away the representation of the people of Ladakh by depriving the Union Territory of Ladakh of a legislature, keeping the border area under the direct command of the centre.

Also read: The Article 370 Amendments: Key Legal Issues

“Leaders from J&K were not able to connect with us for 6-7 months during the winters. When the temperature in the region reaches as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius, how are the Delhi leaders now going to connect with the people of Ladakh during such weather conditions?,” he asked.

The anger shown by the people of Kargil by participating in the strike goes completely against the so-called ‘jubilation’ that has been reported by the mainstream media.

NewsClick also spoke to some local residents in Kargil who, amidst the continuous patrolling of the army personnel, have been observing a peaceful protest against the centre’s decision and reiterated similar emotions of being deprived of their rights.

Meanwhile, heads of all religious organisations of the district as well as district presidents of all the political parties in the district have decided to meet at 4 PM today (August 6) to decide upon the future course of action.

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