By Shaju Philip
Lakshadweep police on Thursday registered a case of sedition against local resident and film activist Aisha Sultana for calling the Union Territory’s administrator, Praful K Patel, a bio-weapon being used by the Centre on the island’s people.
The case was registered at Kavaratti police station, based on a complaint from BJP’s Lakshadweep unit president C Abdul Khader Haji, under Section 124 A of IPC (sedition).
Khader’s complaint cited a recent debate on Malayalam channel ‘MediaOne TV’ on the ongoing controversial reforms in Lakshadweep, in which Aisha had purportedly said that the Centre was using Praful Patel as a ‘bio-weapon’ on the islands. The remarks had sparked protests from the BJP’s Lakshadweep unit. BJP workers had moved complaints against Aisha in Kerala as well.
A film professional, Aisha has been in the forefront of campaigns against the reforms and proposed legislation, which have taken Lakshadweep and Kerala by storm.
Justifying her controversial reference to the administrator, Aisha posted on Facebook, “I had used the word bio-weapon in the TV channel debate. I have felt Patel as well as his policies [have acted] as a bio-weapon. It was through Patel and his entourage that Covid-19 spread in Lakshadweep. I have compared Patel as a bioweapon, not the government or the country…. You should understand. What else should I call him…”
Lakshadweep Sahitya Pravarthaka Sangam on Thursday extended support to Aisha. “It is not proper to depict her as anti-national. She had reacted against the inhumane approach of the administrator. It was Patel’s interventions that made Lakshadweep a Covid-affected area. The cultural community in Lakshadweep would stand with her,’’ the organisation’s spokesperson, K Bahir, said.
While the UT Administration has said Patel’s controversial proposals are aimed at ensuring safety and well-being of residents along with promoting the islands as a tourist destination on par with Maldives, residents view them as ripping the social and cultural fabric of the islands.
This story was first appeared on indianexpress.com