Ladakhis to observe 'BLACK WEEK' from tomorrow

Leh, June 18 (PTI) - As the stage is set for the special session of Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly from tomorrow to pass an autonomy package, Ladakhis opposed to the ''rule from Shrinagar'' are planning to observe a 'black week'.

Under the aegis of influential Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA), the natives, predominantly Buddhists, are preparing themselves to hold rallies, demonstrations and dharnas during the week-long protest.

LBA has charted out detailed programmes to air their strong opposition to the autonomy package as recommended by the State Autonomy Committee (SAC) for the week-long agitation starting from June 19 at Leh and other block headquarters of Nyoma, Durbuk, Diskit, Khaltsi and Padum.

''The Ladakhis are apprehensive that the proposed step for greater autonomy for the State or to restore the pre- 1953 position will ruin the interests of Ladakhi people who have been clamouring for Union Territory status for a long time,''a senior LBA leader has said.

In fact, the Ladakhis' opposition to the ''rule from Shrinagar'' dates back to the times of head Lama Kushuk Bakula, who was also a member of the Kashmiri constituent Assembly.

About Bakula, the Kashmir watchers say that ''he made it clear that he did not like the land reforms and rule from Shrinagar was unpalatable''.

Sunday, June 18, 2000

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