Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik’s decision to create a separate division for the Ladakh region has caused major uproar in the restive state. PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday slammed the Governor for the decision and said that the people’s sentiments were not taken into consideration. “The decision taken by Governor are against the sentiments of Kashmir. This is a Muslim majority state and Government has to keep the sentiments of the people here,” Mufti said while addressing media at her home in Srinagar today. “The government has ignored Chenab valley. Central governments has hand in these decisions,” Mufti added.
On Monday, Kargil town and its adjoining areas observed a shutdown on February 11 to protest against the decision of the Jammu and Kashmir government to set up the permanent headquarters of the newly-created Ladakh division in Leh. "Shops and business establishments are closed, while roads are deserted due to the shutdown called by local leaders in Kargil," officials said. Cutting across party lines, residents of Kargil marched in thousands on Sunday against the administration's decision to permanently post the divisional commissioner and Inspector General of Police (IGP) offices for the newly created Ladakh division in Leh town.
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. The elected leaders of Kargil in panchayats, municipal committees and the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (Kargil) have threatened to resign en masse if the government does not modify its order.
The government decision to create Ladakh division has led to resentment from other regions of the state like Pir Panjal and the Chenab valley, where leaders have threatened to launch an agitation if similar administrative units for their regions were not created. The National Conference has already made it an election issue, with its leader Omar Abdullah promising to create new divisions for Pir Panjal and Chenab valley if his party is voted to power in the assembly elections likely to be held later this year.
(With agency inputs)