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Lakshadweep Denies Entry to Left MPs from Kerala, Says Visit ‘Against Public Interest’

File photo of Lakshadweep administrator Praful Patel.

File photo of Lakshadweep administrator Praful Patel.

There have been a series of protests in Lakshadweep against the rules by the new administrator.

The Lakshadweep administration has rejected the application sent by Kerala MPs of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) to visit Lakshadweep. In the past, United Democratic Front (UDF) parliamentarians were also denied permission to visit the island.

In its letter, the administration said the purpose of the visit is political action and the permit is rejected as their visit to the islands for political activities will disturb the calm and peaceful atmosphere of the islands and will be against the interest of the general public, public order and security of the union territory.

The purpose of visit given in writing by the MPs is to have a fact-check on the impact of administrative actions and reforms under Lakshadweep’s present administrator.

The administration stated that as per the police report, the proposed visit may “activate local people, political parties/activists, social workers and people from different walks of life about the present opposition/agitation against the administration”. This can possibly result into outside public protest in the islands, it said.

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“There is every possibility of public gathering and such gathering may lead to Covid spread in the islands, thereby affecting the efforts taken by the administration in its fight against the pandemic,” it said in a statement.

The administration said the applicants have failed to remit the application fees and produce the chellan receipt, also and have failed to produce the undertaking from the sponsor duly signed before a public notary or magistrate.

There have been a series of protests in Lakshadweep against the rules by the new administrator. The Kerala Legislative Assembly has even passed a resolution in support of the people of Lakshadweep. Both fronts want their MPs to go to the islands and assess the situation by interacting with people there. This request has for now been rejected.

The applicants can file an appeal under rule 9 of the Laccadive Minicoy and Amindivi Islands (Restriction on Entry and Residence) Rules, 1967 to the Hon’ble Administrator of UT Lakshadweep within 30 days from the receipt of the order.

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first published:July 06, 2021, 10:53 IST