#SaveLakshadweep has been trending on Twitter. Reason: Celebrities, politicians, social media users and general public were asking for the removal of the UT's administrator Praful K Patel.
Patel was appointed as the administrator of Lakshadweep in December 2020. Ever since then, people are outraged over a few proposals passed by him, including beef ban. The Administrator has also allegedly closed down all dairy farms operated by the Animal Husbandry Department.
Moreover, the group of islands that form Lakshadweep was COVID free for almost a year until Patel took over. Now, the archipelago has seen 6,847 COVID-19 cases until 24th May and is under a strict lockdown since 2 months.
This Twitter thread explains the effect of lockdown on its people and their livelihoods.
Lakshwadweep, an archipelago of 36 islands is completely sea locked. They depend on ships from Kochi , Baypure, Mangalore to get all supplies. Fishing is the main and widespread vocation therein. Hence they produce fish products in plenty plus coconut cultivation.— Vee (@ravanatalks) May 24, 2021
For everything else they depend on ships. But in each of the inhabitated islands , the Lak Adm conducts Farms. These farms are the main source of livestock/poultry for the inhabitants. Of course , some of people living there do indulge in poultry but space is a constrain— Vee (@ravanatalks) May 24, 2021
And now , orders are passed to close down the farms and auction all the livestock. This means the main source of eggs , meat , milk is now stopped. These is a shortage of these crucial items in Lakshwadweep now, on account of a strict lockdown pic.twitter.com/ysLAMWmXMt— Vee (@ravanatalks) May 24, 2021
I am told that it is a very harsh lockdown with even medical shops not being permitted to open ( on account of very high test positivity, 60 % in fact) . With no ships coming and closure of Farms, the island is on its edge..food is being deprived.— Vee (@ravanatalks) May 24, 2021
Other regulations that have caused a public outrage on Twitter include the draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021 (LDAR), which gives the administrator powers to remove or relocate the residents from their property for town planning or any other developmental activity.
Once a land is picked by the government for developmental activity, it will be deemed as land needed for a "public purpose". Further, the activities listed in the draft regulation include building, engineering, mining, quarrying, etc. on, over, or under the land and nobody can question any of these activities once approved.
While people can submit comments and suggestions on LDAR latest by 31st May, residents feel that it will interfere and destroy the island's land-use pattern and culture.
There's also the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act (PASA), introduced in January 2021, under which a person can be detained without any public disclosure for a period of up to one year and the draft panchayat notification that proposes the disqualification of panchayat poll aspirants with more than two children.
Actors, politicians and people from all walks of life have expressed their anger on Twitter.
I first raised this issue on Feb 9, prompted by my ex-MP friend below. Today the protests have become a storm: https://t.co/XUHiH31aCo— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 24, 2021
The Govt has to intervene. We are destroying a peaceful part of the country where peace, communal harmony &cal reigned undisturbed. Stop the rot! https://t.co/IwEq0KXnMC
In many more ways than one, the residents of the Lakshadweep Islands take pride in their traditional culture, while maintaining significant environmental safeguards... But for the past few months, there has been an uneasy disquiet among the islanders. https://t.co/7qE0q0os9Q— Nikhita Venugopal (@nkvenugopal) May 25, 2021
Today it's Lakshadweep. Tomorrow it might be about one of our states. How moronic these ppl might be for acting this way in the midst of pandemic. Sigh. https://t.co/zrRsUyUXx6— Uzzumakiiiii Naruto (@PrasanthSampath) May 25, 2021
My heart bleeds for #Lakshadweep of all people in this world, there is no way one can harm the people of this island. They are in for big chroni capitalist real estate holders to sell this place out for like what they did to Adivasis of Fisherman tribe, #SaveLakshadweep— Dubz Talk (@DubzTalk) May 25, 2021
All the orders issued by Praful Patel, in Lakshadweep should be reviewed. He is forcefully throwing out the native population from jobs & unilaterally amending laws. He has shown no concern for the people & livelihood of the islands.#RevokeLDAR#SaveLakshadweep— Shabeeb (@Shabimohmed) May 25, 2021
The Lakshadweep govt proposal to ban beef is done just to hit the majority Muslim community there. Is this what is important now at the time of the pandemic? These fascists don’t have the courage to do it in Goa, Kerala or the North East. This should not come to pass!— The Youth Network (@TheYouthNetwor4) May 25, 2021
Does anyone really know about everything that's going on in Lakshadweep now? The little island off the coast is one of the most beautiful places I have been to, but administrative injustices have served the citizens a taste of bad fortune. A thread. #SaveLakshadweep pic.twitter.com/nXwE1zZdLy— CK Vineeth (@ckvineeth) May 24, 2021
News reports from Lakshwadeep are quite serious. Challenges imposed on their lives, livelihoods and culture cannot be accepted. Kerala has a strong relationship, a long history of cooperation with LD. Unequivocally condemn devious efforts to thwart it. Perpetrators should desist.— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) May 25, 2021
It is also alleged that the administrator is misusing the current lockdown situation to implement reforms, including denying permission for protests.