Lakshadweep’s protest against new changes escalates: Here's a 9-point guide to controversy

The residents of Lakshadweep take pride in their traditions and against these new changes #SaveLakshadweep is trending on Twitter for the past few weeks.

Since the death of Dineshwar Sharma, the former Administrator of Lakshadweep in December 2020, the UT is in turmoil.  Praful Khoda Patel, who took the charge as a new administrator in Lakshadweep has recently passed various drafts regarding some changes in UT, which the residents consider as an assault on nature.

Residents of Lakshadweep have been protesting against the changes. Today, as a part of a 12-hour hunger strike the residents held placards outside their houses and underwater. 

Here are nine points, which would help in better understanding of the controversy:

1.) The residents of the island in the Arabian Sea have been protesting at their homes and shops against the new changes proposed by the administrator Praful Khoda Patel, under which Lakshadweep would be converted into a tourist spot like ‘Maldives.’

2.) Critics said that this decision has made the 7,000 people of the pristine archipelago furious as the island is known for its forest, white beaches, and emerald sea. 

3.) According to the natives the proposed “Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation (2021)” would destroy the unique culture and tradition of the island, which is unspoiled for years. 

Also Read: Explained: Why Lakshadweep in turmoil? Why islanders are protesting against administrator Praful Patel?

4.) There is anger among people because the new regulations have proposed to ban the killing of bovine animals, and the consumption, storage, transportation, or sale of cattle. Lakshadweep’s major population is Muslim, and they feel that this is a target on their eating habits.

5.) One of the most opposed decisions is that the administrator has introduced a draft detention law, which empowers the administration to detain anyone without public discloser for up to a year.

6.) People are also against the Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulation, which states only a person with two or less than two children can contest in gram elections.

7.) On Sunday, 93 retired top bureaucrats wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, called the decision ‘disturbing.’ He further said that the new rules give the administrator ‘arbitrary and draconian powers’ to acquire, transfer and remove or relocate the natives from their property.  

8.) The laws are still pending by the Union Home Ministry. Recently, Lakshadweep MP Md Faizal said that he was assured by Amit Shah that no law would be enforced on the island without the wishes of its people.

9.) A large section of Kerala, including celebrities, politicians, netizens, and the general public are infuriated by some of the changes proposed by Lakshadweep's new Administrator Praful K Patel. The Kerala assembly has also passed a resolution seeking the recall of the administrator.

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