Govt official onboard fishing boats: Controversial order by Lakshadweep admin called back


Kochi: A controversial order issued by the Lakshadweep island administration that implemented a set of decisions, including deputing government officials onboard local fishing boats for intelligence gathering, has been rolled back following protests.

An archipelago located in the Arabian Sea, Lakshadweep has been witnessing protests by locals for over the recent actions and administrative reforms being implemented by island administrator Praful Khoda Patel.

The Islanders held an underwater protest and staged a 12-hour fast on Monday demanding administrator Patel's recall for his 'anti- people' measures and seeking withdrawal of draft legislation on development.

The protestors, both under sea water and outside of their homes, held placards with slogans like "Revoke LDAR" (Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation) and "Justice for Lakshadweep." The people who took to protest came under the banner of "save Lakshadweep forum" and posted pictures of protest in social media.

The Lakshadweep people are demanding repeal of the proposed LDAR, the Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (PASA or Goondas Act) and the Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation (LAPR).

It was on May 28, a meeting chaired by Principal Secretary cum Advisor to the Administrator decided to depute responsible government servants onboard local fishing boats for intelligence gathering.

The meeting also decided to strengthen the security measures to monitor the local fishing boats and crews, intensify checking of passenger boats and vessels reaching the islands and strengthen the ship berthing points and helibase by installing CCTV cameras.

The administration later gave direction to officials concerned to initiate action as per decisions taken on the meeting.

The administration had also issued a new order on managing cleanliness and hygiene, on June 4, directing the people of the islands to scientifically dispose of the tender coconut shell, tree leaves, coconut husk, coconut shell, trunk etc in and around dwelling and public places.

Issuing the order on hygiene and cleanliness, the administration said whoever violates or contravenes any of the directions shall be liable for punishment with fine as per Schedule I of the Lakshadweep Solid Waste Management Bye-Law, 2018 and also be liable to criminal proceedings for offence punishable under Section 188 of IPC.

Expressing solidarity with the people of Lakshadweep, the Kerala Legislative Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution demanding the recall of Patel and requesting the Centres immediate intervention to protect the lives and livelihood of the islanders.

Defending its action, the Lakshadweep administration has said it was laying the foundation for the future of islands in a planned way and to develop it on the lines of Maldives in two decades.

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