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Kargil shuts down to demand its share in divisional status

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Srinagar, Feb 11: The Kargil town and adjoining areas observed a shutdown Monday 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 remained closed, while roads were deserted due to the shutdown called by local leaders in Kargil, reports said.

Hundreds of Kargil residents, including women and children, also took out a rally in the winter capital Jammu Monday and chanted slogans in support of their demand for equal share in the recently created separate division for Ladakh and rotational divisional headquarters.

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 a poll promise, 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.

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