Controversial measures introduced by Lakshadweep’s new central administrator Praful Patel, former home minister of Gujarat, have created a storm in Kerala, with which the island territory is closely linked.
Patel has been accused of using the island’s Muslim population as a laboratory to push the RSS agenda of racial hatred. The so-called reforms are being implemented in the name of Covid protocol, interfering with the lifestyle and practices of the island dwellers, including their food habits and livelihood. Nearly all of the island population is comprised of Muslims.
It is alleged the central administrator has arbitrarily changed the standard operating procedure. Lakshadeep was largely free from the first Covid wave, but there is a rise in the second wave after some restrictions were lifted and replaced with a new protocol. Patel’s latest action was to order the closure of the island dairy units. Simultaneously, the Union I&B ministry ordered the closure of the island’s news portal named Dweep Dairy News.
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