Lakshadweep Says No To Congress MPs' Visit, Cites Unrest, Covid

Congress MPs Hibi Eden, TN Prathpan, CR Rakesh Sharma had sought permission to visit Lakshadweep, which has been seeing widespread unrest since a series of controversial orders by the new Centrally appointed administrator Praful Khoda Patel.

Lakshwadeep witnessed unrest due to controversial orders by new administrator Praful Khoda Patel.

New Delhi:

The Lakshadweep administration has refused to grant permission to a group of Congress parliamentarians to visit the islands, saying that according to a police report, it might instigate violent agitations, which is part of planned effort to ruin the peace. Congress MPs Hibi Eden, TN Prathpan, CR Rakesh Sharma had sought permission to visit Lakshadweep, which has been seeing widespread unrest since a series of controversial orders by the new Centrally appointed administrator Praful Khoda Patel.

A visit by Congress MPs for political activities will certainly "disturb the calm, peaceful atmosphere" and is against the interest of general public, the Scheduled Tribes, public order and security of the Union Territory.

The administration also cited the possibility of a surge in Covid cases with the visit of people from the mainland.

"Lakshadweep being a scheduled area and the entire native population being Scheduled Tribes, duty of administration to ensure peace and avoid disturbance due to external interference," the administration said in its response.

The Congress and Left MPs had earlier moved the Kerala High Court, seeking intervention for permit to visit Lakshadweep.

Administrator Praful Khoda Patel had reached the islands on June 14 amid a black flag protest.

Over the last months, there have been protests online and in Lakshadweep against a series of orders by the administrator. Recently, the High Court had put some of his proposals on interim stay, hearing a series of appeals.

One of these was the controversial removal of chicken, beef, and other meat from school menu and closing down of dairy farms.

Besides the Congress, the CPM, DMK, and other parties, scores of members of the BJP in the island group, have protested against these measures. The protests have echoed in Kerala too, where Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had demanded Mr Patel's removal and the assembly passed a unanimous resolution demanding recalling of the administrator, revoking the controversial orders.

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