Kochi: Despite the simmering protests on the ground, the Lakshadweep administration has taken yet another controversial decision to depute government officials onboard local fishing boats for intelligence gathering.
Yet another decision, though less controversial, pertains to managing cleanliness and hygiene: the islanders have been accordingly instructed to scientifically dispose of coconut shells, tree leaves, coconut husks, and tree trunks in and around dwellings and public places.
Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal immediately questioned the practicality of implementing the order, pointing out that there are hundreds of fishing boats operating in the area; how could officials be deployed in such large numbers?
It has also been decided to monitor the local fishing boats and crews, intensify checking of passenger boats and vessels reaching the islands and strengthening the ship berthing points by installing CCTV cameras.
Faizal questioned this decision, too, pointing out that a well-established Navy and Coast Guard system of surveillance was already in place in all the islands; the authorities also had a radar system with a raqqnge of 30 nautical miles.
The MP alleged that the administration's actions showed that they do not trust the innocent fishermen community of Lakshadweep. He demanded why such surveillance was not happening in coastal states like Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Recently, 93 former civil servants wrote to PM Modi raising concerns over the developments in the Union territory. Taking strong objections to a series of controversial drafts, the signatories have stated, "It is clear that each of these draft regulations is part of a larger agenda that is against the ethos and interests of the islands and islanders."