A sedition case has been filed against activist and filmmaker Aisha Sultana for calling the Lakshadweep ’s administrator, Praful K Patel ‘a bio-weapon’ sent by the Centre during a debate on a news channel. The FIR was lodged at Kavaratti police station, based on a complaint from BJP’s Lakshadweep unit president C Abdul Khader Haji, under Section 124 A of IPC (sedition).
“Lakshadweep had zero cases of COVID-19. Now it is reporting a daily spike of 100 cases. What the Centre has deployed is a bioweapon. I can say this clearly that the central government has deployed bioweapon,” she had said on a Malayalam TV debate earlier this week.
The remarks had sparked protests from the BJP’s Lakshadweep unit. BJP workers had moved complaints against Aisha in Kerala as well. Over the last few weeks, the Union territory has witnessed enormous protests over Administrator Patel’s introduction of certain regulations that have been judged as violating the ethos of the indigenous population. The filmmaker has been at the forefront of campaigns against the controversial reforms.
After a case was filed, Aisha Sultana took to Facebook to explicate her stance. “I had used the word bio-weapon in a TV channel debate. I have felt Patel as well as his policies as a bio-weapon. It was through Patel and his entourage that Covid-19 spread in Lakshadweep. I have compared Patel as a bioweapon, not the government or the country…. You should understand. What else should I call him…” she said in her post.
Extending support to Sulatana, Lakshadweep Sahitya Pravarthaka Sangam stated, “It is not proper to depict her as anti-national. She had reacted against the inhumane approach of the administrator”
The Lakshadweep Administration has maintained that the proposals are aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of residents along with promoting the islands as a tourist destination.