Sonam Wangchuk 'house arrest': CPIM's Tikender Panwar observes day-long fast

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Shimla, Jan 30 (PTI) CPI(M) leader Tikender Singh Panwar on Monday observed a day-long hunger strike and launched a campaign, 'Save the Himalayas, Secure our Future', in solidarity with innovator Sonam Wangchuk, who is allegedly under house arrest.

Panwar, along with others, staged a peaceful protest at the Ridge.

Wangchuk has allegedly been placed under house arrested for launching a five-day hunger strike in Leh to demand extension of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and protecting the environment from unchecked industrial and commercial expansion.

The police, however, have denied this, saying he was only prevented from observing the fast at Khardung La top.

The CPI(M) had on Sunday termed Wangchuk's alleged house arrest "reprehensible".

Panwar told PTI that all the mega projects like widening of roads and hydro projects and construction of big dams are "planned destruction" of the Himalayas and not sustainable.

There is a nexus between the Union and state governments and corporates, both in public and private sectors, he charged.

Checks like environment impact assessment report and no objection certificate from panchayats have been done away with and state governments are exploiting natural resources to generate resources which are unsustainable, he claimed.

Panwar said no activity should be allowed without the consent of the local people and their "no" should be final.

Himachal Pradesh falls in seismic zones 4 and 5 and is vulnerable to earthquakes. Widening of roads and increased human activity in the region would lead to disaster, he said. PTI BPL DIV DIV