SRINAGAR: There has been a lot of jubilation among people in Leh after they got their 70-year-old demand of Union Territory fulfilled on 31 October. However, in adjacent Kargil district, there has been a complete shutdown as they feel that they have not been treated equally by the Central government. There have been a lot of programmes to celebrate the UT status of Ladakh.

On Friday, there were reports saying that protesters in Kargil demanded equal share, including rotational offices for the Lieutenant Governor (LG) and the Administrative Secretary, Ladakh Affairs Department, in Leh and Kargil. The youth of Kargil are of the view that there has been discrimination by the Centre and special treatment was given to the people of Leh. Earlier, they had called off their agitation following assurances by then Governor Satya Pal Malik who had promised them of equal treatment in the new set-up of UT. So far, there has been no response from the Centre.

All shops, business establishments, government schools and offices remained closed, while traffic remained off the roads for three days, culminating in the swearing-in of former Defence Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur as the first LG of the newly created Ladakh UT.

People in Kargil have already forged a united response under the umbrella of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) and the political parties are supporting the demands put forth by this committee to the Centre. According to Nasir Hussain Munshi, JAC General Secretary, these protests will continue till the people of Kargil get an “equal share” of development. Munshi blamed Leh for trying to subjugate the people of Kargil in the newly-created UT. The agitation had been suspended for a few days owing to interviews for Class IV posts.

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