President of All India Muslim Majlis e Mushawarat, Navaid Hamid on Wednesday lashed out at the Centre for the new reforms in Lakshadweep, which are seen by the islanders as an attack to completely destroy their traditional life.
Taking to Twitter Hamid wrote, “#Lakshwadeep is not a colony but an integral part of India with a distinct culture & a history of patriotism inhabited by ST Muslims for centuries. STOP treating it as a colony – by imposing your food choices; snatching their livelihood by prohibiting local dairy farming and 1/n”
He then went on to say that Lakshadweep needs democratic voices and wrote, “Countrymen know the real divisive agenda of #PrafulPatel. Time to remind him to follow consitutionality till he is adminstrator in the interest of larger peace and tranquility on the island.”
Kerala Rajya Sabha MP Elamaram Kareem on Sunday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, requesting him to urgently call back Lakshadweep administrator and BJP leader Praful Khoda Patel for his authoritarian, anti-people policies on the island.
What is happening in Lakshadweep?
Over the past few days, a social media movement “#SaveLakshadweep” has emerged to highlight the ongoing crisis in the island. People, mainly from Lakshadweep and Kerala, took to social media with cries of “#SaveLakshadweep” to call out Praful Khoda Patel for his authoritative regulations like the LDAR and PASA.
Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021 (LDAR) gives the administrator powers to remove or relocate islanders from their property, for town planning or any developmental activity. On the other hand, under Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA), a ‘goonda act’, a person can be detained without any public disclosure for a period of up to one year.
Besides, Patel has also approved the contentious draft panchayat notification where a member with more than two children is disqualified. Also, non-vegetarian food items were removed from the school menus in Lakshadweep, a place where people increasingly consume seafood.
People are also protesting against the implementation of the ‘goonda act’ calling it arbitrary. In his letter, Kareem too alleged that orders and promulgations issued by the Patel administration lacked “consideration towards the people, their choice of food and their livelihood”.
The government has been facing heavy criticism over this row and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday slammed the central government over the issue of the appointment of Praful Patel, a BJP leader as the administrator of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.
“Lakshadweep is India’s jewel in the ocean. The ignorant bigots in power are destroying it. I stand with the people of Lakshadweep,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi.
According to the opposition parties like Congress and the Left, the Centre has set an unprecedented attempt by appointing a politician as the administrator of the union territory. Previously, the position used to be held by officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).