Cutting across party lines, prominent politicians from Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday threatened mass agitation if the governor administration did not review its decision to permanently post the divisional commissioner and inspector general of police (IGP) headquarters in Leh. The decision to submit resignations en masse from all democratic institutions and hold protests in Kargil, Jammu and Delhi was announced jointly by Chairman Legislative Council Haji Anayat Ali, Chief Executive Officer of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Feroz Khan and former MLA Haji Asgar Ali Karbalia at a press conference here.
In a major decision, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday sanctioned creation of a separate administrative and revenue division for Ladakh, with its headquarters at Leh.
Ladakh will now have a separate divisional commissioner and an inspector general of police (IGP) with a full administrative and revenue division at par with Kashmir and Jammu divisions. The people of Kargil are demanding that divisional commissioner and IGP offices function on rotational basis in Kargil during summers and in Leh during winters.
"We are not against the divisional status to Ladakh region comprising both Leh and Kargil districts. We are against posting the divisional commissioner's headquarters along with IGP office permanently at Leh," Khan, a senior National Conference leader, said.
He said the demand for divisional status for Ladakh was first raised by the people of Kargil but the governor administration ignored their request for rotating the divisional commissioner and IGP offices between the two districts for six months each.
"The people of Kargil are united in support of the demand for rotation of headquarters in Kargil during summer and in Leh during winter. If our demand is not met, we will resign en-mass from the posts we are holding in the democratic institutions, whether it is chairman of the legislative council, councilors in the LAHDC or panchayat institutions.
"We will also go for general strike and pour on the roads in the entire district besides Jammu and Delhi till our genuine demand is met," Karbalai, a senior Congress leader said.
He added, "The decision in this regard was taken at a joint meeting of all political parties, including the Congress, the NC, the PDP and the BJP, religious parties and social groups in the district."
Echoing the sentiment, Ali, a PDP leader, said, "The people of Kargil are gentlemen by nature but will not allow anyone to strangle them."
He asked all political parties to support the people of Kargil in their demand for rotational headquarters and equal share in divisional status. Karbalai said the people of Kargil are nationalist by core and have rendered numerous sacrifices over the past seven decades without caring for "injustice and discrimination" being meted out to them.?
"Majority of the people in Kargil are against the division of the state on the basis of region, religion or language and hence raised the demand for divisional status with economic, financial and legislature powers. We will like to continue to be part of Kashmir division as the distance between Kargil and Kashmir is just 200 kms, while between Kargil and Leh 230 kms," he said.
Khan said, "If you are giving the divisional status to Ladakh, then we will not tolerate injustice with us. But if you are giving it to Leh, we have no objection since almost everything sanctioned for Ladakh is being given to Leh."