Thiruvananthapuram: Several political leaders, including Kerala Minister V Sivankutty, Congress leader MM Hassan have extended their support to filmmaker Aisha Sultana after a sedition case was filed against her for criticising the administration’s management of COVID-19 in the Lakshadweep islands.
Many have demanded that the case against her be withdrawn.
Sivankutty spoke to Sultana over the phone to express his support and encouraged her to move forward in her struggle. He also reassured her that she is not alone.
In a statement, he said, “Aisha Sultana is the popular face of the struggle against the dictatorial and fascist policies of the Lakshadweep government. She has been charged with sedition. The Kerala assembly unanimously passed a resolution declaring support for the people of Lakshadweep. Kerala is with the people of Lakshadweep. Things happening in India now are not happening anywhere in the world or in any other country.”
In another statement, UDF convener MM Hasan offered his support and said that she is the voice of the protest against the administrator who tried to implement ‘Sangh Parivar’ politics in the island by disrupting the peaceful life of the people of Lakshadweep.
“All secular people feel proud when they saw Aisha Sultana, who was born and raised in the island, as a front-runner in the struggle against the mad experiments of Narendra Modi’s loyal administrator who sought to incite communal hatred in her homeland and make the island a haven for multinational corporations,” he said.
He further argued that Sultana had already explained that she had said that the administrator used the Coronavirus as “biological weapon” because he has given relaxations to COVID-19 protocol which caused the spread of the pandemic in the island.
“Everyone who has heard the channel discussion knows that she has not said anything against the country or the central government. It is not clear how sedition charges could be levelled for reacting boldly against the administrator’s anti-people actions,” Hassan said.
He also said that as a politician he is ready to provide any legal assistance to her.
Earlier in the day, 15 BJP leaders of the union territory, including the general secretary Abdul Hameed Mullipuzha tendered their resignation from the party to protest the sedition case.
“The case against Aisha Sultana is a totally unjust act. She was born here and is a resident of the Island. I cannot accept it. We all strongly protest the case and I along with others tendered resignation for this,” he said.
According to the police complaint filed by BJP’s Lakshadweep unit president, 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.