A 12-hour hunger strike will be observed from 6 am to 6 pm on June 7 by thousands of Lakshadweep islanders to protest the new legislation formed by the Union government unilaterally, reported by The Hindu. The decision was taken in the maiden meeting of the 'Save Lakshadweep Form' in Kochi on June 2. The meeting was attended by Lakshadweep Member of Parliament (MP) Mohammed Faizal, former MP P.P. Koya and others part of the core committee. The forum has also decided to take on the 'anti-people' draft legislation legally and a member of the Save Lakshadweep Forum has confirmed that a legal cell of the forum is working on it. Protest committees would be formed on all islands by June 5 and only those with medical conditions or under treatment would be exempt from the strike.
A huge outcry has taken place after new Lakshadweep administrator Praful Patel introduced a slew of policies that are against the tradition and current legislations of the island. The proposals include a requirement of a negative RT-PCR certificate issued within 48 hours to enter the island as opposed to mandatory quarantine for seven days in Kochi or Kavaratti before entering the island, a ban on cow slaughter, Anti-Goonda proposal and ability to serve liquor in an island that prohibits alcohol. While the Union Territory administration aims in promoting tourism on the island while ensuring the safety of the islanders. The islanders argued that the policies would destroy the ecosystem of the island as well as do away with the culture of Lakshadweep.
The Chief Ministers of Kerala and Tamil Nadu have demanded immediate removal of the administrator by the President. On June 2, the Kerala Assembly passed a resolution to remove the administrator. "The Centre should intervene in the Lakshadweep issue. It's Centre's responsibility to ensure that people's interest is protected," said Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan to the LiveMint. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had said that the new rules undermine grass-root democracy in Lakshadweep and seek to penalize dissent in a letter to PM Narendra Modi.
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