Protests spill onto Lakshadweep streets after Collector’s ‘all-is-well’ claims

Protests spill onto Lakshadweep streets after Collector's press meet
Youth Congress workers hit the streets in protest at Kiltan Island

Kochi: Taking umbrage at Lakshadweep Collector S Asker Ali’s “insulting” remarks at a news conference here on Thursday, activists of different parties took to the streets in the islands for the first time.

Ali had justified the Lakshadweep Administrator Praful Khoda Patel’s controversial reforms at the news conference held in Kochi.

Soon after, about 20 Youth Congress workers hit the streets in protest at Kiltan Island and burnt the collector in effigy. Police later arrested them.

DYFI activists, too, took out a protest march at Kavaratti, the capital of Lakshadweep.

The activists were enraged by Ali’s remark that youngsters in Kiltan were getting addicted to drugs. The protesters said the collector had shamed the island at the news conference. Protests spilling onto the streets was a first for Lakshadweep.

Earlier, the collector said vested interests were spreading canards about the administration. He blamed outsiders for launching a misinformation campaign in the peaceful islands.

Various protesting organizations in the archipelago would hold an all-party meeting to discuss a joint movement. They would consider organizing more protests, besides taking legal recourse, if the authorities did not concede to their demands. BJP members from Lakshadweep would also join the core committee.

Meanwhile, the High Court of Kerala may consider a petition by KPCC secretary Noushad Ali on Friday.

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