Published: 14th June 2021
Save Lakshadweep Forum observes 'Black day' against administrator Praful Khoda Patel's visit
The Save Lakshadweep Forum is observing a 'black day' in protest against the visit of Praful Khoda Patel to Lakshadweep on Monday
The Save Lakshadweep Forum is observing a 'black day' in protest against the visit of Praful Khoda Patel to Lakshadweep on Monday.
"Today Lakshadweep administrator is reaching here after introducing all the anti- people drafts and orders. All political parties' combined committee - the Save Lakshadweep Forum has decided to protest against it in a very peaceful and democratic manner by observing black day today. We all will be wearing black dress, black mask and will display black flag in our respective houses," Sayyed Ahmed, member of Save Lakshadweep Forum (SLF) said.
Ahmed, a resident of Andoth island, said that the number of COVID cases have shot up in Lakshadweep after the strict COVID regulations implemented by former Lakshadweep administrator late Dinesh Sharma were lifted. "On January 14, 2021, Lakshadweep was COVID free with zero cases. But now there are more than 5000 active cases and already 50 people died. The mandatory quarantine regulation that was required to be completed after reaching the island was eased, which has resulted in such a situation," he alleged.
The protesters have also sought time to meet Patel, who will be Lakshadweep reportedly for 10 days. Meanwhile, citing the high number of COVID cases, Members of Parliament (MPs) from both Congress and Left parties were denied permission to visit the UT. This comes two days after 15 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and workers in Lakshadweep resigned from the party after a sedition case was filed against filmmaker Aisha Sultana allegedly for her comments against the Centre's COVID-19 management in the union territory.
In their resignation letter to Lakshadweep party president, they said that their resignation is against the case where Aisha Sultana was named, who, during a channel discussion, stated how Lakshadweep went from zero Covid cases to rampant Covid cases with the arrival of the present administrator. They also called the administrator's decisions 'unscientific and irresponsible'. "When BJP workers including you in Lakshadweep and the people have been protesting against the undemocratic actions, you have filed a false and unjustified complaint against Chetlath sister, and are ruining her family and her future. We convey our strong objection and submit our resignation from the primary membership from BJP," they added.
Abdul Hameed Mullipuzha, BJP state secretary, is among the party leaders who resigned. The Lakshadweep police had registered a case against filmmaker Aisha Sultana with charges of sedition and hate speech on Thursday. The FIR was registered against the filmmaker on the complaint of BJP Lashadweep wing president C Abdul Khader Haji. According to the complaint, Aisha Sultana during a news debate on a Malayalam channel alleged that the Centre had used COVID-19 as a "bio-weapon" against the people of Lakshadweep.
Over the last few days, there has been an uproar against Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda Patel over the new reforms introduced by him, which many allege are against the interest of the islanders. People are protesting against the draft legislations like Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (Goonda Act), Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation and Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulation, 2021 among others.
Patel, who was appointed as the Administrator of Lakshadweep in December 2020, is facing opposition over policies introduced by him from the people of the union territory and politicians, both from within Lakshadweep and the neighbouring state of Kerala.