Shri Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI (Communist), issued the following statement on 29 May 2021:
“We vehemently denounce the highly anti-people anti-democratic Bills proposed by Praful Khoda Patel, a former BJP MLA, ex-Gujarat home minister of state and now administrator of Lakshadweep that have the local people of this archipelago consisting of 36 islands and a Union Territory (UT) of pristine natural beauty, panicking about their future. The draft Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation, 2021, proposes to ban beef in the archipelago. The proposed Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation, 2021, drafted in the line of UAPA and other black laws, allows the administrator to unilaterally detain people for up to a year though crime rate in the UT is lowest in India. The draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation, 2021, modelled on the laws framed to forcibly grab land for establishing Dholera smart City and installing the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, concentrates entire power of planning in the hands of the administration and empowers him to take any piece of land on the island, irrespective of its ownership, on the pretext of being used for “development” purposes.
Since he became administrator of the UT on 2nd December, 2020, this BJP administrator has issued a series of extraordinary orders like anyone with more than two children would be ineligible for panchayat positions, omitting non-vegetarian items from school menus, laying off hundreds of casual workers, demolishing fishermen’s sheds, indiscriminately arresting anti-NRC anti-CAA protesters and withdrawing mandatory quarantine of the visitors that hitherto kept the UT safe from Covid-19. He took to similar atrocious steps in Diu where he served earlier as administrator. All these actions besides being autocratic in nature also smack of a communal overtone since majority of the inhabitants are Muslims. Obviously, protests have broken out in the UT against these anti-people moves which evidently are aimed at serving the commercial interest of the corporates intending to venture in tourism business there at the cost of destroying the social fabric and ecological balance.
1. Central Govt. should recall Praful Khoda Patel, the administrator of the Lakshadweep immediately.
2. Immediate withdrawal of the pro-corporate reforms, honour the wishes of the local residents and allow them to continue with fishing and other activities to earn their livelihood.”