Kochi: Massive protests have erupted in Lakshadweep recently against the “undemocratic” policy changes of the Union Territory’s administrator Praful Patel. Amidst the agitation, a sedition case was filed by the BJP’s Lakshadweep unit president Abdul Khader against a Lakshadweep-based filmmaker Aisha Sultana. The complaint stated that the model and actor who has worked with several Malayalam filmmakers propagated fake news that the central government used biological weapon to spread COVID-19 infection to the island.Also Read - BREAKING: Aisha Sultana Given Anticipatory Bail in Sedition Case Filed by Lakshadweep Police
Subsequently, BJP members started protesting against the charges, with many of them resigning, stating that the complaint was “false and manipulated”. But who is Aisha Sultana and what did she say? Here’s all you need to know. Also Read - Lakshadweep Protest: Aisha Sultana Moves Kerala High Court Seeking Anticipatory Bail Against Sedition Charges
Who is Aisha Sultana?
Aisha Sultana is a model, actor and filmmaker based in Chetiath island in Lakshadweep. She is a renowned face in Kerala as well and has worked with several Malayalam filmmakers. She made her directorial debut in 2020 with the independent Malayalam film ‘Flush’. She also worked as an associate director on the sets of Malayalam film ‘Kettyolaanu Ente Malaakha’. Also Read - 15 Lakshadweep BJP Leaders Resign Over Sedition Charges Against Filmmaker Aisha Sultana
What is the complaint against Aisha Sultana?
BJP Lakshadweep unit president C Abdul Khader Haji has alleged that Sultana criticised the Centre regarding the ongoing political crisis in Lakshadweep during a debate on a Malayalam TV channel when she called Praful Patel a “bioweapon”.
The BJP leader also alleged that Sultana’s remark was an anti-national act, which tarnished the “patriotic image” of the central government, thus seeking action against her.
Sharing the post on her Facebook page, she wrote, “An FIR [sedition charges] has been registered. However, only truth shall prevail. The BJP leader who filed the complaint is from Lakshadweep. As he continues to betray his home land, I will continue fighting for it. Tomorrow, those who betrayed us will be isolated.”
“Now, to the people of Lakshadweep: The sea protects you and you protect the sea. Those betrayed have fear but we do not. I did not raise my voice to be silent or weakened. My voice is going to be louder from now on,” she added.
Protest in Lakshadweep
At least 15 BJP leaders and workers in Lakshadweep, led by the general secretary Abdul Hameed Mullipuzha, have tendered their resignation from the party after the sedition charges against the filmmaker. “You’ve filed a false and unjustified complaint against Chetlath sister. We convey our strong objection and submit our resignations,” State Secretary Abdul Hameed Mullipuzha said in a statement to ANI.
Earlier this week, the entire Lakshadweep went on a 12-hour hunger strike on Monday protesting against the Union Territory administration and Administrator Praful Khoda Patel for sanctioning “anti-people” policies.
In one of the fiercest protests the island has seen in decades, residents held placards outside their homes, on charpoys and even underwater with slogans like “Revoke LDAR” (Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation) and “Justice for Lakshadweep”. People supporting the movement bombarded social media platforms with #SaveLakshadweep and pictures of the mass protest. But what is the protest all about? Here’s a breakdown for you.
The people have contended that the new law would take away the pristine archipelago of Lakshadweep – its unique culture, tradition, flora-fauna, white beaches and the emerald sea.