Elamaram Kareen, a Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala, has written to President Ram Nath Kovind, appealing with him to immediately recall the administrator of the Union Territory, BJP leader Praful Patel, claiming that anti-people policies have sparked protests.
Kareen was referring to the Draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulations, 2021 (LDAR 2021), as issued in the form of public draft which has caused outrage among social media users. The act stipulates that islanders must pay a processing fee for zone changes. It would essentially imply that localities would be required to pay fees to gain approval to alter zones as per the development plan, as well as fees for permission to develop their own land.
According to Section 119, the draft also establishes penalties such as imprisonment for obstructing the development plan's work or workers.
Kareem accuses administrator Patel of implementing undemocratic modifications to rules, such as the "Animal Preservation Act," which he claims was used to ban all beef slaughter and processing on the islands. Furthermore, despite the fact that it goes against the cultural and religious sensibilities of the majority of the islanders, alcohol restrictions have been relaxed on the islands, Kareem pointed in his letter.
Violations of the draft Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation 2021 could result in life imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh. This drew sharp criticism from the inhabitants of the island which is predominantly Muslim.
Additionally, The Lakshadweep Anti Social Activities Regulation 2021 has also gained controversy as the crime rate has been consistently low in the region. Section 14 of the proposed bill empowers the authority to detain a person outside of Lakshadweep's territorial boundaries. The bill has been described as unwanted and unwarranted by Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faisal, who has urged the authorities not to enact such draconian regulations, reported The New Indian Express.
Several celebrities like Prithviraj Sukumaran and CK Vineeth have taken to Twitter to show their displeasure over the events taking place in the region. In the form of protest against the latest events, hashtags like Save Lakshadweep and Revoke LDAR is also trending on social media platforms.