Black Day protests greet Administrator in Lakshadweep

Residents of Lakshadweep islands stage a protest on Monday.  

Clad in black robes and holding black flags and protest placards, the islanders of Lakshadweep, locked down at their modest households on account of the raging pandemic, are protesting against the arrival of the Union Territory Administrator Praful Khoda Patel on Monday.

The protest, called by the all-party Save Lakshadweep Forum, is to demand the immediate recall of Mr. Patel and the ‘withdrawal of the unwieldy reforms being pushed by the Union Territory administration under his stewardship.’ Hundreds of islanders and those in the mainland also put up posters and protest pictures on social media to express their dismay at the ‘anti-people policies’ announced by the administration.

Muneer Manikfan, village (dweep) panchayat vice chairperson at Minicoy, said in a video message that the protest was to force the Union government to revoke the ‘unilateral, draconian, anti-people and anti-environment’ draft legislations and orders issued by Mr. Patel.

MPs wait, but Patel skips Kochi

In view of the protests, the police took out a route march along the streets of Kavaratti, the capital, on Sunday night which the islanders think was an intimidation tactic.

Lok Sabha members Hibi Eden and T.N. Prathapan were planning to meet Mr. Patel, who was slated to be in transit at the Cochin International Airport on Monday morning, to register their protest against his policies, but Mr. Patel skipped Kochi and took a special aircraft to the Agatti air strip in Lakshadweep.

Resignations from BJP

Meanwhile, the spate of resignations from the BJP’s Lakshadweep unit continued on Monday, with Ibrahim Thithige, Saukath Kanbiloge and Mohammed Kaleelugothi, president, secretary and treasurer of the party’s Minicoy unit, quitting after finding it ‘futile to continue due to the unfortunate current circumstances in Minicoy island and Lakshadweep.’

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 2:54:55 AM |

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