The administration of Lakshadweep has restricted access to 17 of the 36 islands, citing national security and public safety concerns. The 17 are uninhabited Union Territory isles, and permission from the subdivisional magistrate is required for admission.
In this regard, the District Magistrate (DM) of Lakshadweep issued an order under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The decision to issue the proclamation was made on Wednesday in order to prevent terrorist or smuggling activities on the uninhabited islands where coconut-harvesting labourers live in makeshift constructions.
According to the administration, there could be individuals involved in unlawful, anti-social, and anti-national activities among them, hence the decision.
“As there are temporary structures on some uninhabited islands for the purpose of housing labourers harvesting coconuts, it cannot be ruled out that along with these labourers there are persons engaging in illegal, anti-social, and anti-national activities such as smuggling, seeking shelter or hiding place for weapons or narcotics,” the order stated.
The order stated that preventative measures were necessary due to the risk of terrorist groups or organisations assaulting and vandalising significant and key institutions of the nation and populated locations.
“To prevent fear and terror among the people due to terrorism, violence, and the possibility of anti-national, smuggling, illegal, and anti-social activities, as well as attacks on important military and paramilitary, industrial, and religious places of the country, endangering public safety,” the DM said in the order.
Section 188 (disobedience to an order lawfully proclaimed by a public official) of the Indian Penal Code stipulates a jail term between one and six months or a fine for violators.