Srinagar, February 13 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, despite freezing temperatures, thousands of people in the mountainous Kargil town continued with their protests and shutdown for the fifth consecutive day, today, against the administration’s discriminating decision of establishing headquarters of the newly carved out Ladakh division at Leh.

The protesters are demanding the headquarters of the Ladakh division on rotational basis between Leh and Kargil. Business establishments and all government offices and the local court remained closed while traffic was off the road across the Kargil district as protests continued for the fifth day. The shutdown has been called by various political and social leaders in Kargil. The protesters urged the authorities to take immediate steps in meeting the demands of the people of Kargil.

Media reports quoting witnesses said that braving cold, hundreds of people assembled outside the office of Deputy Commissioner Kargil, and staged a massive protest demonstration.

On Monday, the protesters didn’t allow the newly-posted Divisional Commissioner Ladakh, Swagat Biswas, to enter the Kargil town. “We will fight until we get our equal rights,” said Sajad Ahmed, a social activist from Kargil.

It is to mention here that the IOK administration has been selective while awarding division headquarters permanently to Leh district and ignored Kargil despite having larger population. All the people of Kargil are asking for the rotation of the headquarters between Leh and Kargil. Not paying heed even to this demand shows the administration’s bias against Kargil. Also, it speaks a lot when you go extra mile to meet the needs of one district and one community but you don’t even agree to a minor change in favour of the other district and the other community. This shows that the territory’s administration is not bothered about the development of the region but it has a larger premeditated design behind the move of awarding divisional status to Ladakh region and that is to trifurcate occupied Kashmir on religious lines to weaken the ongoing freedom struggle.

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