Lakshadweep residents launch hunger strike seeking recall of Administrator

Protesters demand that the Central government roll back anti-people policies

A 12-hour hunger strike by people of various islands in Lakshadweep got under way around 6 a.m. on Monday. The people observing hunger strike on their house premises are demanding that the Union government recall Administrator Praful K. Patel immediately.

“This is the first pan-island protest by the people of Lakshadweep demanding that the Central government roll back the anti-people policies unveiled by the Administrator,” said a spokesman for the Save Lakshadweep Forum, an umbrella organisation of all political parties and organisations in the islands.

On house premises

The dawn-to-dusk protest is being organised by the people from the confines of their homes in view of the COVID-19 spread on the islands. They are holding placards raising demands, which also include the recall of Lakshadweep Collector Asker Ali.

“All political parties and organisations are united in their stand that the policies of the Administrator are anti-people and against the actual requirements of the people,” the spokesman said.

Several of the recent measures initiated by the Administrator, who took charge about five months ago, have led to protests. The people of the island said their lives and livelihood would be adversely affected if the measures were implemented.

The fresh regulations cover the entire gamut of the lives of the people, including land rights. One of the latest orders include one to depute “responsible” government officials on board local fishing boats and other vessels and to gather intelligence with a view to improving the security situation on the islands.

Lakshadweep, the smallest of the Union territories in the country, is a group of 36 islands. The archipelago has an area of 32 sq. km. under one district. The capital Kavaratti is the principal town of the islands, which has a total population of around 70,000 people on 10 inhabited islands.

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