Lakshadweep seals off 17 islands citing national security threat
Lakshadweep District Magistrate said that the decision was taken to prevent terrorist or smuggling activities on the uninhabited islands.
Citing national security and public safety concerns, the Lakshadweep administration has banned access to 17 out of the 36 islands that form the Union Territory. These 17 islands are uninhabited, requiring permission from the sub-divisional magistrate to enter.
Issuing a proclamation under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Lakshadweep District Magistrate said that the decision was taken to prevent terrorist or smuggling activities on the uninhabited islands. These islands have temporary structures which serve as accommodation for labourers who harvest coconuts.
The administration said there could be people involved in anti-social, anti-national and illegal activities.
The order read: 'There are temporary structures on some uninhabited islands for housing labourers to harvest coconuts. It cannot be ruled out that along with these labourers, there are persons who engage in illegal, anti-social and anti-national acts like smuggling, a hideout for hiding weapons or narcotics and seeking shelter.'
The order said that precautionary measures were necessary considering the possibility of terror groups or organisations attacking and vandalising important and key institutions of the country and crowded places.
The DM highlighted in the order that he prohibited entry without prior written permission in the 17 uninhabited islands of Lakshadweep to prevent fear and terror among the people through terrorism, violence and the possibility of anti-national, smuggling, illegal and anti-social activities as well as attacks on important religious, military and para-military, and industrial places of the country, endangering public safety.
Those violating the latest order will be prosecuted under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code, which carries a jail term of up to six months or a fine.