RGU students stage sit-in in support of Ladakhis

RONO HILLS, 7 Apr: A sizeable number of Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) students, along with youths from across the Itanagar Capital Region, staged a symbolic sit-in protest at the university campus here on Sunday to express solidarity with the people of Ladakh.

The people of Ladakh are demanding statehood, inclusion under the 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution, and other rights.

The sit-in was organised by the North East Human Rights Organisation (NEHRO), Arunachal Resist, and RGU students.

Speaking at the event, NEHRO member and advocate Ebo Milli drew parallels between the issues faced by the Ladakhi people concerning land, identity and ethnicity, and the situation in Arunachal Pradesh.

He spoke about the Forest Conservation Act, the importance of the 6th Schedule in protecting tribal rights, and the relationship between democracy and the right to dissent.

RGU scholar Prem Taba gave a detailed timeline of the events in Ladakh that have led to the current situation.

He strongly condemned the restrictions imposed on peaceful protests and fundamental rights by the administration, including the imposition of Section 144 CrPC and internet slowdowns.

He emphasised his belief that “a multi-ethnic and multicultural state like Arunachal Pradesh should also be included under the 6th Schedule, which provides special protection for tribal communities.”

Research scholars Nabam Saha and Ajay Pandey, along with other MA students, delivered short speeches on the importance of democracy, freedom of speech, good governance, and electing responsible leaders.

The event also featured poetry recitals, and students holding placards, demanding restoration of democracy in Ladakh.