Thiruvananthapuram, June 13(BPNS)
Amidst the raging controversies against the “modernization” of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep , the administrator, Praful Khoda Patel, a former Home Minister in Gujarat in the Narendra Modi government, is set to reach the islands on Monday. He will be at Lakshadweep till June 20.
The “Save Lakshadweep forum” an umbrella group of local activists and opposition politicians who have been in the forefront of agitations against the new reforms of the Administrator have already announced that they would stage protest marches in the islands.
Ever since Praful Khoda Patel assumed office as the Administrator of the Islands, there has been concerted protests against his style of functioning with the opposition charging that he is bent on destroying the culture of the island, a charge flatly denied by the administrator’s office.
Lakshadweep district collector S Askar Ali IAS while speaking to BPNS said,” The Administrator is reaching here on Monday and will continue till Sunday. He will be reviewing a slew of projects in the power sector, hospitals, schools at the Agatti, Kavaratti, Minicoy, Androth, and Kalpeni islands.”
The Members of Parliament from Kerala had petitioned the Administrator a visit to the islands to have a first-hand study on the new measures being implemented at Lakshadweep. Film maker Aisha Sultana, a native of Lakshadweep was slapped with sedition charges after she made an observation during discussion in a television channel that the Union government had used “Bio Weapon” on the people of Lakshadweep.
While Aisha had later come out with the statement that she had some network problems while speaking at the television debate and that she had used the term, “Bio Weapon” to express on Praful Khoda Patel and was meant intentionally against the Union government.
The UT of Lakshadweep is inhabited almost entirely by Muslims and in a bid to appease the community, political leaders and parties from Kerala have been conducting several protest marches across the state and had burnt the Administrator in effigy in front of his office at Ernakulam.
CPM leader and Member of Parliament, Elamaram Kareem while speaking to BPNS said, “The Lakshadweep administrator is planning something massive which will destroy the culture of the island and the lives of the people of this serene place. This is a highly eco-sensitive place and highly fragile and any constructions like huge resorts will have a negative impact on the ecology of the region. The administrator is acting like a dictator and is not listening to the voices of the people of Lakshadweep.”