Lakshadweep-based filmmaker Aisha Sulthana, who has been booked for sedition charges, approached the Kerala High Court Monday seeking anticipatory bail.
Sulthana was booked by the Lakshadweep Police for her comments on a television debate, when she allegedly said that the Central government used ‘biological weapons’ for the spread of Covid-19 in Lakshadweep. She was booked based on a complaint filed by BJP's Lakshadweep unit president, Abdul Khader.
In the backdrop of the Lakshadweep Police asking her to appear at the Kavaratti police station on June 20, the filmmaker in her bail plea stated that there is a possibility that she might be arrested if she goes to Kavaratti.
Sulthana hails from Chetiath island in Lakshadweep.
According to the FIR lodged by the Kavaratti police, a case under sections 124 A (sedition) and 153 B (hate speech) of the Indian Penal code has been registered against the filmmaker.
Khader, in his complaint, has alleged that Sulthana’s alleged comments were an anti-national act, which tarnished the "patriotic image" of the central government.
Lakshadweep has been witnessing protests by various political parties since the administration started implementing reform measures in the islands.
The islanders have sought a repeal of the proposed Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation, the Lakshadweep Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation (PASA or the Goondas Act) and the Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation (LAPR), stating that these measures aim to destroy their unique culture.
Expressing solidarity with the people of Lakshadweep, the Kerala Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution on May 31, demanding the recall of the administrator and requesting that the Centre immediately intervene to protect the lives and livelihood of the islanders.
(With PTI inputs)
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine