Budding filmmaker Aisha Sultana has been booked by the Kavaratti police for sedition after the Lakshadweep unit of the BJP filed a complaint against her remarks about the COVID-19 situation in the union territory at a panel discussion on a Malayalam news channel.
A case under Sections 124 A (sedition) and 153 B (hate speech) was registered against Ms Sultana, a native of Chetlat island, based on a petition filed by BJP’s Lakshadweep unit president, Abdul Khader, who alleged that she had said that the Center was using COVID as a “bio-weapon” on the people of Lakshadweep.
Lakshadweep was without a single case of COVID-19 for nearly a year thanks to the system of mandatory quarantine for Dweep-bound travelers in Kochi. The administrator of the union territory, Praful Patel, who took charge in December last year, changed the SOP despite protests, resulting in COVID reaching the island’s shores. The union territory has had over 9,000 cases since.
Meanwhile, the Lakshadweep Sahithya Pravarthaka Sangham, in a press statement, condemned the sedition charge and maintained that Ms Sultana was only trying to drive home the “inhuman” measures undertaken by the Lakshadweep Administrator.
Proclaiming its solidarity with Ms Sultana, the Sangham said it was deplorable that a comment made in passing was being portrayed as a seditious statement.