Laskhadweep administration denies permission for Cong leaders from Kerala to visit islands

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Kochi, Jul 3 (PTI) The Lakshadweep administrationon Saturday denied permission to Congress leaders to visit the islands, which hasbeen witnessing protests seeking withdrawal of the draftlegislation-Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation, saying their visit 'for political activities' will 'disturb' the peaceful atmosphere.

It also said there was a possibility of these leaders 'mingling' with large number of people of the islands which may 'lead to further COVID spread in the islands'.

Additional District Magistrate S Asker Ali, in his order denying permission for Congress leaders T N Prathapan, Hibi Eden MP, and C R Rakesh Sharma, the national legal advisor of All India Fishermen Congress party, to enter the islands, said their purpose of visit 'appears to be a political action'.

'...the purpose of visit has been stated as to understandthe problems faced by the islanders due to the new policies of the Administrator' which appears to be a political action,' the order said.

According to the order, a report submitted by the Lakshadweep police said that the visit is likely to instigate violent agitations in the islands and the same is part of a planned effort to disturb the peaceful atmosphere prevailing in the Lakshadweep islands.

'...it is stated that the proposed visit of MPs from Kerala to Lakshadweep is likely to cause unrest in the islands as the political parties and leaders from mainland have been making attempts to instigate local people, political parties/activists, social workers and people from different walks of life to oppose all administrative actions and to agitate against the Administration,' it said.

According to the order, 'avoiding disturbances' due to external interferences in the Union Territory, a scheduled area, is the bounden duty of the administration.

Meanwhile, the administration has also decided to 'disengage' 151 casual labourers 'upon the closure of tourist season on the onset of monsoon and consequently no tourism based activities...'.

The residents are seeking repeal of the proposed Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation (LDAR), the Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (PASA or the Goonda Act), and the Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation (LAPR) legislations.

Expressing solidarity with the people of Lakshadweep, the Kerala Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution demanding the recall of island administrator Praful Khoda Patel and requesting the Centre's immediate intervention to protect the lives and livelihood of the islanders.

An archipelago located in the Arabian Sea, Lakshadweep has been witnessing protests by locals over the recent actions and administrative reforms being implemented by Patel. PTI RRT BN BALA BN BALA

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