KOCHI: Even as protests continued in Lakshadweep, the relatives of 23 persons who were arrested in connection with a protest in Kiltan island lashed out on Sunday against the authorities after they were denied permission to meet the arrested.
They were remanded in judicial custody after they burned an effigy of Collector S Asker Ali on Thursday protesting his remarks on youngsters’ drug abuse in Kiltan. The arrested have been lodged at a community hall near the Kiltan police station because of space constraints at the station. The relatives pointed out that keeping 23 people in a single room during the pandemic will accelerate the virus spread.
The collector, during a press conference in Kochi on Thursday, referred to the Kiltan island while talking about the ‘drug problems’ in Lakshadweep. Congress and Youth Congress workers then staged a protest by burning the effigy of the collector and took out a protest march flouting the Covid curfew. The protesters were charged under sections 285, 500, 120 (B), 143 and 149 of IPC, and 51 (b) of the Disaster Management Act.
An all-party meeting in Lakshadweep on Saturday had decided to set up a core committee to coordinate protests against the slew of measures proposed by administrator Praful Patel and to chart out the future course of action. The administration has imposed further restrictions on entry and exit from the islands citing the rise in Covid cases.