The Lakshadweep Police has registered a case of sedition against Lakshadweep film activist Aisha Sultana for calling Praful K Patel a bio-weapon. During a TV debate, Sultana Said Lakshadweep administrator Praful K Patel “is a bio-weapon” being used by the Centre against the island’s people. BJP’s Lakshadweep unit president C Abdul Khader Haji lodged a complaint with Kavaratti police station under Section 124 A of IPC (sedition).
Sultana’s remarks sparked protests from the BJP. Some BJP workers filed complaints against her in Kerala as well.
A film professional, Sultana has been campaigning actively against the reforms proposed by the Patel administration which have taken Lakshadweep by storm.
After a case was filed, Aisha Sultana justified her comment in a Facebook post saying that Patel’s policies are like a bio-weapon. “I had used the word bio-weapon in a TV channel debate. I have felt Patel as well as his policies 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…” she said in her post.
However, Lakshadweep Sahitya Pravarthaka Sangam extended its support to Sultana. Its spokesperson K Bahir said that it is not proper to portray Sultana 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,” said Bahir.
On the other hand, the Lakshadweep Administration has maintained that the proposals are aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of residents along with promoting the islands as a tourist destination. Lakshadweep collector had said that the administration wants to develop the island like the Maldives.
Congress and CPI(M) have been protesting against Patel’s proposals. The Congress party had even written to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking recall of Patel and withdrawal of the proposals.