Sir — Last week, the Lakshadweep police registered a case of sedition and hate speech against the director, Aisha Sultana, for calling the Union territory’s administrator, Praful Khoda Patel, a “bio-weapon” that is being used by the Centre on the island’s people. The case was registered based on a complaint filed by the chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lakshadweep unit, C. Abdul Khader Haji.
After 11 months of being free of Covid infections, Lakshadweep now has over 9,000 active cases. Patel is accused of exacerbating the crisis by changing quarantine protocols in January. Since taking over the administration, Patel has also pushed through a slew of new laws and proposals without consulting locally elected representatives. This has led to widespread mistrust and anger towards the BJP government.
As many as 93 retired bureaucrats sent a letter to Narendra Modi criticizing the “partisan attitude” of the new administrator and urged him to protect the unique culture and tradition of Lakshadweep. But rather than engaging in course correction, the Centre has chosen to misuse the sedition law. The Centre must recall the administrator at the earliest and reassure the islanders.
Sir — Several BJP leaders and workers in Lakshadweep resigned in protest against the sedition case lodged against Aisha Sultana. Sultana had blamed Praful Khoda Patel for the surge in coronavirus cases in Lakshadweep. She further alleged that the Centre was using him as a “bio-weapon”.
In a strongly-worded letter, 12 leaders and workers said the case against Sultana was “false and unjustified” and that she had rightly criticized the administrator’s “unscientific, irresponsible decisions”. It is time that Patel is removed from the post.
Double the win
Sir — In a remarkable feat, the Czech athlete, Barbora Krejcikova, became the first player to win both the women’s singles and doubles titles at Roland Garros since 2000. Krejcikova, who won her maiden Grand Slam at the French Open, has shown that she is a force to be reckoned with. It is rare to see players excel in both the singles and doubles formats. Krejcikova has a bright future ahead of her.