Ladakh Buddhist youths angered over marriage

Press Trust of India, NOV 9, 2005

Leh, Ladakh (India) -- Buddhist youths today forced closure of shops in Leh market protesting what they alleged the marriage of a Buddhist girl with a Muslim after her forcible conversion.

Activists of the youth wing of the Ladakh Buddhist Association enforced the shutdown and pelted stones at several shops and offices asking authorities to facilitate quick return of the 20-year-old Buddhist girl.

The Association had given a call for a shutdown tomorrow also.

Nearly 200 youths marched to the Deputy Commissioner's office and asked the authorities to act in the matter.

"So far, we have been carrying out peacedul protests but if no action is taken soon, the law and order situation will deteriorate," Associaion President R P Dorje said.

Senior police officials assured the protesters that they would look into the matter.

Inter-religious marriages have been a source of tension in the past also. The Association has started an agitation against such wedlocks and later entered into an agreement with the Ladakh Muslim Association to prevent such happenings.