Faced with angry protests from the people of Kargil against permanently stationing the first ever appointed Ladakh’s divisional commissioner at Leh, Governor Satya Pal Malik has constituted a committee to look into the issue.

Protestors at Kargil blocked the roads on Monday and did not allow the divisional commissioner, Saugat Biswas, to enter the district after taking the charge of the post in Leh. The protestors also squatted on the road till late night and also did not let the deputy commissioner and superintendent of police proceed ahead to receive the divisional commissioner.

An official spokesperson said that the Governor has taken note of the sentiments of the people of Kargil following the decision to create a new administrative division of Ladakh which has been a long-standing demand.

A committee of senior officers will determine the location and scope and size of division level offices, their staffing, size, and most importantly, their location in the division. This committee will submit its report only after interacting with all stakeholders and understanding their needs, the spokesperson said.

He said that Ladakh has two districts, Kargil and Leh, and the government is equally sensitive to the needs and aspirations of both districts. It is also aware of the administrative needs of the region and the connectivity challenges.

The government has urged all the parties to be patient. Everyone’s interests will be taken care of as that is the objective of the government.

Braving freezing temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius, about 3000 protestors, on Monday night, blocked the road at Wakha, about 35 km from Kargil, and did not allow Biswas to proceed towards Kargil.

The protesters included the head of religious organization Anjuman Jamiyat Ullama and the acting chief executive councillor of Hill Development Council, Nasir Hussain Munshi, who did not let the district officers of Kargil to go and receive Biswas.

They are demanding that the office of the divisional commissioner should rotate between Leh and Kargil.

Earlier during the day, Biswas was given a rousing reception at Leh when he reached there to take charge of the post. Thereafter, he drove towards Kargil to meet the protestors and the district administration but was not allowed to enter the district.

Meanwhile, the PDP was trying to spearhead an agitation in the Doda region of Jammu in support of the demand for the creation of a separate division for the area. The party was also demanding a division for the Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu.