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Section 144 imposed in Leh ahead of Wangchuk’s ‘Pashmina March’
4/5/2024 11:46:00 PM

Early Times Report

Jammu, Apr 5: Two days before the proposed “Pashmina March” of climate activist and education reformist Sonam Wangchuk, authorities in the Union Territory of Ladakh imposed section 144 of CrPC 1973 in the Leh district to restrict the movement of the people.
These restrictions have been imposed after getting input about a breach of peace in Ladakh.
“Senior Superintendent of Police, Leh, vide letter No.PA/Spl/2024-5870-72, dated 05- 04-2024, has reported that there are reliable inputs of apprehension of a breach of peace and public tranquility in the district; and it is desirable that any breach of peace, disturbance to public tranquility and danger to human life should be immediately prevented. Therefore, I, Santosh Sukhadeve, IAS, District Magistrate, Leh satisfied with the report of Senior Superintendent of Police, Leh, and in exercise of powers vested in me under Section 144 of CrPC, 1973," reads the order issued by District Magistrate Leh.
“No procession/rally/march etc. shall be taken out by anyone without the prior approval of the District Magistrate, Leh, in writing, No one shall use the vehicles mounted or other loudspeakers without prior approval from the competent authority, No public gathering, without the prior approval of the competent authority shall be allowed, No one shall make any statements, which has potential to disturb the communal harmony, public tranquility and which may lead to law and order problem in the district, All the persons shall ensure that they follow the model court of conduct and that all the activities are according to the law.” It reads.
“As notice cannot be served individually, this order is being passed ex-parte. Any violation of this order shall invite punitive action under Section-188 of the Indian," it reads further.
Reacting strongly against the dec
These restrictions have been imposed after getting inputs about a breach of peace in Ladakh.
No procession/rally/march etc. shall be taken out by anyone without the prior approval of the District Magistrate,
No one shall use the vehicles mounted or other loudspeakers without prior approval from the competent authority,
No public gathering, without the prior approval of the competent authority shall be allowed,
sion of the authorities to impose Section 144 in Leh, agitating social activist Sonam Wangchuk called this action an overreaction to provoke the people.
Wanchuk said that for the last 31 days people of Ladakh have been peacefully protesting for their genuine demands.
“It is perhaps the first time in the history of Ladakh that such a long protest is going on peacefully. By terrorizing people, the authorities are trying to provoke the people”, he said and cautioned that such reactions would prove counterproductive.
After concluding his 21-day hunger strike on March 27, Sonam Wangchuk announced a “Border March” toward the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on April 7. The purpose of this march is to reveal the extent of Chinese intrusions and corporate land takeovers.
Later the name of the Border March was changed to “Pashmina March”
According to Wangchuk, the march will be towards the Changthang region to raise awareness about the depletion of grazing lands in Ladakh. He alleged the grazing lands were being taken over by big Indian industrialists and also by the Chinese.
Ladakh is known for its high-quality Pashmina wool, which is very fine, measuring between 12-15 microns thick. This Pashmina is special because it’s completely pure and made entirely by hand without any machines.
Wangchuk compared the Pashmina March to Gandhi’s famous Dandi March. He said Gandhi did the Dandi march to tell people about the unfair salt laws. Similarly, the Pashmina March is to let people know that big companies are taking away the land where the local shepherds of Ladakh graze their sheep.
Changthang is a place about 300 km from Leh, very high up at 4,700 meters. It’s very cold there, with winter temperatures dropping between -6 to -35 degrees Celsius. Traveling to Changthang is tough because it’s cold and dry, and the land is rough.
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