Contentious orders continue to rule over Lakshadweeptext_fields
Kavaratti: Amid the ongoing protests by islanders against the Lakshadweep administrator's unilateral decisions in the guise of development, the administration approved yet another contentious plan by deputing government officials onboard local fishing boats for intelligence gathering, PTI reported.
It was on May 28, the Principal Secretary and Advisor to the Administrator chaired a meeting and decided to depute 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 heli-base by installing CCTV cameras.
In another order issued on Friday to maintain cleanliness and hygiene, the administration had directed the islanders to scientifically dispose of the coconut shells, tree leaves, coconut husks, and tree trunks in and around dwellings 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 and fines and also be liable to criminal proceedings.
Meanwhile, Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal attacked the administration for its new directives, terming them as a "mockery" and urged the authorities to withdraw them immediately.
Mr Faizal questioned the practicality of implementing the order, saying hundreds of fishing boats operating from the islands and how many officials will be deployed in such vessels.
The MP also noted that a well-established system of surveillance by the Navy and the Coast Guard was already in place in all the islands.
Faizal said every month or once in three months, the Coast Guard has a regular interaction with the local fishermen to train them on how to report the movement of suspected objects in the seas.
Mr Faizal alleged that the administration's actions showed that they do not trust the innocent fishermen community of Lakshadweep.
He also asked why such surveillance using officials onboard fishing vessels were not happening in coastal states like Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Expressing solidarity with the people of Lakshadweep, the Kerala Legislative Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution demanding the recall of island administrator Praful Khoda Patel and requesting the Centres immediate intervention to protect the lives and livelihood of the islanders.
An archipelago located in the Arabian Sea, Lakshadweep has been witnessing protests by locals over the recent actions and administrative reforms being implemented by Patel.
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.