KOZHIKODE: People's representatives, leaders of Muslim organisations and political parties have joined a ‘Save Lakshadweep’ campaign, raising objection to the alleged “move to impose the RSS agenda on the island”.They have lashed out at Administrator Praful Khoda Patel, who was the minister of state for home in Gujarat when Narendra Modi was the chief minister, for “trying to destroy the culture of the island” with his arbitrary decisions.
The BJP, on its part, termed the campaign as the handiwork of the vested interest groups to create communal rift in the society. Party state president K Surendran tweeted that the campaign is supported by “radical Islamist organisations”. “The Union Territory of Lakshadweep is an integral part of India. Condemn the move by CPI (M) and INC to portray it as a separate entity,” he said.
It all began after Patel was posted as the administrator on the island in December 2020. It was alleged that he was angry to see the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) posters and banners on the island two years ago. There are apprehensions over the move to ban beef, lift the ban on sale of liquor, enforce the Goonda Act and the proposal to ban persons who have more than two children from contesting elections to the local bodies.
It is also alleged that all animal husbandry units on the island have been asked to shut down to pave the way for corporates in the dairy field to take roots and a number of contract workers have been sacked unilaterally.
Muslim League MP E T
Muhammad Basheer said he had warned about such a possibility in his speech in the Lok Sabha on February 12, 2021. “Moves have already begun to ban animal slaughter in a society where around 99 per cent are Muslims. Ban on cow slaughter is also on the anvil,” he said in a Facebook post.
Elamaram urges Prez to recall administrator
CPM leader Elamaram Kareem, MP, wrote to the President alleging that the administrator’s unilateral decisions have created unrest among the people of Lakshadweep and requested him to recall the official.
“Due to cultural and religious reasons, there was a restriction on the use of alcohol in the UT of Lakshadweep, but the current Administrator unilaterally lifted the restriction,” Kareem said.Lakshadweep MP Muhammad Faisal told media that there was absolutely no need for the Goonda Act as the place is known for peace and tranquillity. The island was immune to the first wave of Covid-19 because the people strictly maintained the protocol.
He said the new administrator has arbitrarily lifted the restrictions in the name of attracting more people to the island. And the result was the surging cases of Covid-19 on Lakshadweep, the MP said.Meanwhile, many Muslim organisations have come up with statements denouncing the actions of the administrator. Samastha Kerala Jem-Iyyathul Ulema asked the government to desist from taking steps that would destroy the tradition and culture of Lakshadweep.Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen, Makazudawa, Wisdom Islamic Mission, Sunnis Students Federation, Sunni Yuvajana Sangham and others have also protested the administrator’s moves.
BREWING ISSUES oN THE ISLAND
Govt allowed to take over any land under the Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation
Move to ban beef and lift the bar on sale of liquor, which would be insensitive to the Muslim community
Fishing sheds destroyed under Coast Guard policy
Plan to bar those who have more than two children from contesting polls