"The protest was not a public gathering but held in front of the houses of those who participated," ET Mohammed Basheer told TNM.

Indian Union Muslim League leaders, wearing mask and holding placard, stage protest against Lakshwadeep reforms PC/Screengrab Asianet News
news Lakshwadeep Friday, May 28, 2021 - 21:57

Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) conducted a protest against the contentious regulations proposed in Lakshwadeep by Administrator Praful Khoda Patel. "The protest was not a public gathering where protesters assembled at one place, but held in front of the houses of those who participated," ET Mohammed Basheer told TNM. However, a public protest was held in Kochi with five IUML leaders following the COVID-19 protocol. The IUML leaders, ET Mohammed Basheer MP and PMA Salam, state General Secretary, in a letter to the Administrator, Praful Khoda Patel termed the regulations- the law reforms and executive actions- as illegal, draconian, and undemocratic.They sought immediate withdrawal of regulations and executive orders passed after May 12 'which are all issued against the interest and curtailing the rights of the citizens of India who are residing at Lakshadweep.'

The letter further reads "It's quite enduring to apprise you that the Union Territory is facing ill-fated and haunting misery turmoil due to the illegal, draconian, and undemocratic law reforms and executive actions initiated by your office." IUML is the second largest constituent of the United Democratic Front headed by Congress. The UDF is in the opposition in Kerala.

Read: An assault on culture and nature: Why Lakshadweep is against Administrator Patel

For several days now, protests have erupted against the regulations particularly from Kerala with a lot of people having joined the 'SaveLakshwadeep' campaign. The Administrator, after taking charge in December 2020, came out with a draft of the Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation, Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation, Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation, and an amendment to the Lakshadweep Panchayat Staff Rules. These are all feared to impact the cultural, ethnic, and environmental balance of the Union Territory.

"The regulations originated by your office are totally against the interest of the people of Lakshadweep and also against the constitutional principles. The Administrator is given uninhibited supremacy above the Local bodies and even the functions regarding welfare measures through local bodies are appropriated by the Administrator," the letter reads. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on May 27 told media that the state has strong sentiments regarding Lakshadweep and that it's most appropriate to ratify a resolution in the Assembly against the actions of the Administrator. "The people of Lakshadweep are Malayalam speaking and their commutation point and offices of Administration are located in Kerala. It is reliably understood that there is an attempt to shift the commutation point to Mangaluru and other offices to Karnataka," the letter reads. 

Read: Kerala HC declines to stay draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021

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