Hundreds of people participated in a rally in Ladakh here on Sunday demanding the inclusion of new Union Territory in the sixth schedule of the Constitution, to ensure the protection of resources and cultural identity of the region.
The sixth schedule pertains to the provisions for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, according to Article 244 of the Constitution.
“This is a peaceful protest procession demanding the sixth schedule for the region. Around 96 per cent of the population here is tribal and the environment is very fragile. There is already a water scarcity and the region does not have the capacity to handle its population,” one of the protestors told ANI.
The protest was organised by the Students’ Organisation of Unified Ladakh (SOUL) and saw participation by people from various political parties and students organisation.
One of the banners held by the protestors read, “Our demand is the sixth schedule for tribal safeguard for Ladakhi people, land, culture, and environment”.
“We are very thankful that we became a Union Territory, it had been a long-standing demand. However, we wanted to be a Union Territory with legislation. Nevertheless, all we want now is there to be some safeguard in the region,” she said.
“People from across political lines, several office-bearers like Panchs and Lambardaars, and many students union participated in the procession to demand the sixth schedule for the region,” the protestor added.