Lakshadweep holds protest for 12 hours to show their resistance to Praful Patel’s new policy
Lakshadweep, a silent UT of India has raised voices to protest. Thousands of people living on the islands of Lakshadweep will observe a twelve-hour hunger strike today to oppose the string of legislation being pushed by the union territory administration unilaterally to them.
The administrator of Union Territory, Praful Patel introduce measures to develop Lakshadweep as a tourist attraction spot. His announcement turned the eyes of 93 ex-civil servants as they write to Prime Minister expressing concerns over disturbing developments in the UT.
It comes as a natural cause to the locals of the islands as Lakshadweep is an archipelago in the Arabian Sea comprising 37 tiny islands. Out of which 11 are inhabited by humans.
The citizens are protesting against Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation (2021) that proposes to develop the islands as a major tourist destination. Residents claim that it will adversely affect their natural habitat and diversity. Also, the islands’ character and identity will be ripped because 97 per cent of the islands are covered by pristine forests and 95 per cent of its population belong to the protected scheduled tribe category and this development will come in the way of their unique living style.
This hunger strike is called Save Lakshadweep. It is a forum of all political parties of the island that stand united against the decision of Praful Patel’s administration. As per their plan, they aim to modify the beef ban, land amendment regulations and introduced the draft of the anti-social activities’ regulation bill.
Praful Patel took additional charge as Administrator of Lakshadweep in December 2020, and he introduced drafts of three regulations – the Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation (LDAR), the Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation, and the Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation (LAPR). Along with these, he announced the amendment to the Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulations, which majorly triggered outrage on the island.
A lot of people over social media as well are criticizing Patel’s new measures in the name of development, saying that Lakshadweep occupies a unique place in India’s geographic and cultural diversity as it destroys the peace and culture of the islands and also harasses the people by imposing arbitrary restrictions.