Terming the sedition case against Lakshadweep filmmaker Aisha Sultana as "unjust and false", Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) party general Abdul Hameed Mullipuzha on Saturday resigned from the party.
He was followed by 14 other leaders and workers of BJP who tendered their resignations from the party earlier on Saturday.
This came after Aisha Sultana was booked by the Lakshadweep Police on sedition charges on June 10 based on a complaint filed by BJP's Lakshadweep unit president C Abdul Khader Haji. The complainant had in the statement claimed that Sultana spread false news about the spread of Covid-19 in the Union Territory during a debate on a Malayalam TV channel.
According to reports, Mullipuzha said the BJP party members who resigned cannot support the police case slapped against the filmmaker for voicing her opinion on the 'anti-people policies' of the current Lakshadweep administration.
"The case against Aisha Sultana is a totally unjust act. She was born here and is a resident of the Island. I cannot accept it. We all strongly protest the case and I along with others tendered resignation for this," said Hameed Mullipuzha.
He added that he would be with the people of the islands and will continue to fight the anti-democratic policies being implemented by the Lakshadweep administration.
The leaders who resigned had pointed it out in the resignation letter they have submitted to Abdul Khader.
"You and all the BJP workers in Lakshadweep are aware of the great suffering the people are undergoing due to the anti-democratic measures taken by Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda Patel. We hereby resign from our primary membership of BJP in strong protest against the action you are taking to destroy the future of Aisha Sultana, our sister from Chetlat by making unjust and untrue allegations against her," the resignation letter said.
Other members who resigned include Ummul Kulus Puthiyapura, Member of the Lakshadweep Wakf Board and Saifulla Pakioda, member of the Lakshadweep Khadi Board.
According to the police complaint filed by BJP's Lakshadweep unit president, Aisha Sultana during a news debate on a Malayalam channel alleged that the Centre had used Covid-19 as a "bio-weapon" against the people of Lakshadweep.
Over the last few days, there has been an uproar against Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda Patel over the new reforms introduced by him, which many allege are against the interest of the islanders.
People are protesting against the draft legislations like Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (Goonda Act), Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation and Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulation, 2021 among others.
Patel, who was appointed as the Administrator of Lakshadweep in December 2020, is facing opposition over policies introduced by him from the people of the union territory and politicians, both from within Lakshadweep and the neighbouring state of Kerala.