Kochi (Kerala) [India] June 13 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members in Lakshadweep who resigned over the sedition case against filmmaker Aisha Sultana were "terrorised and coerced" into doing so, said BJP Kerala State Vice President KS Radhakrishnan on Saturday.
He further said that since the BJP has only a nominal presence in the union territory, the 15 party members were left with no other option but to endorse the view of the majority.
"There is the nominal presence of BJP in Lakshadweep. Majority of the people do not belong to BJP. They were terrorized and coerced by the majority and they had no other option but to endorse the views adopted by the majority party. That is what happened there," Radhakrishnan told ANI.
On the sedition charge against Sultana, he said that there was no doubt that the filmmaker's 'bio weapon' comment on a Malayalam TV channel amounted to sedition.
"Saying 'bio weapon' means that we are using something as a weapon against a group of people. The bio factor nowadays is prevalent not in the case of (Administrator) Praful Patel but COVID-19. She intended to express the fact that Praful Patel uses COVID-19 as a weapon against the people of Lakshadweep," he said.
"...She is waging war against the state and instigating people to revolt against the government. There is no doubt that it is a seditious activity and she committed a seditious act. It was quite unfortunate," he added.
He further said that no one should be addressed as a 'bio weapon' and her argument was falsely fabricated to conceal her own ill feelings.
Earlier in the day, 15 BJP members from the Lakshadweep Islands, including Abdul Hameed Mullipuzha, BJP state secretary, resigned from the party to protest the sedition case against filmmaker Aisha Sultana.
Earlier on Thursday, the Lakshadweep police had registered a case against Sultana under charges of sedition and hate speech.
The FIR was registered against the filmmaker on the complaint of BJP Lashadweep wing president C Abdul Khader Haji.
According to the complaint, 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.
This comes amid the 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.
Other politicians, including Kerala Minister V Sivankutty and Congress leader MM Hassan have extended their support to the filmmaker and have demanded the withdrawal of the cases against her. (ANI)