Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has demanded the government to repeal newly introduced laws including the Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021 in the Lakshadweep Union Territory, calling them undemocratic and anti-people.
In a press statement, JIH Vice President Prof. Muhammad Saleem Engineer said, “under Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation, the administrator will have the powers to confiscate any property on the pretext of public interest, mining and development of the island. There is a fear among the native people that the government may acquire any land and transfer them to corporate houses. Both mining and highways could upset the island’s ecological balance. These undemocratic laws provide an avenue for big corporate firms to promote tourism, instead of the welfare and development of the people of Lakshadweep.”
The administrator has come out with Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA), also called the Goonda Act, for this small archipelago with a total population of about 70,000.
“The law has empowered the administrator to stifle any dissenting voice and this violates the fundamental rights of citizens. Why is such a law needed in a region where the crime rate is negligible?” Prof Saleem asked.
Expressing solidarity with the people of Lakshadweep, the JIH Vice President has expressed surprise that the new rules stipulate that a candidate should not have more than two children to participate in the panchayat elections. Calling it a very undemocratic condition, he said, “there is hardly a precedent for it. Apparently these laws appear to be very good but they may be used to harass the native population and force them to relocate so that the whole island can be made a place of entertainment.”