The Lakshadweep Administration on Tuesday filed a statement at the Kerala High Court opposing filmmaker Aisha Sultana’s plea to quash the FIR registered against her in the sedition case, Bar and Bench reported.
The administration, through a senior counsel named S Manu, filed the statement alleging that Aisha has not been cooperating with the investigation so far and that she has even deleted chats from her mobile phone after the registration of the case.
Aisha, a native of Chetlat island, has been at the forefront of the #SaveLakshadweep campaign, initiated by the people of Lakshadweep in protest against the reforms introduced by the island’s new Administrator Praful Patel.
On June 7, during a panel discussion on Lakshadweep’s administrative crisis hosted by Media One Malayalam news channel, Aisha said that the central government had used a “bio-weapon” in Lakshadweep which caused the surge in Covid-19 cases. The filmmaker later clarified that she had used the term only in reference to the new administrator.
However, on June 10, based on a complaint filed by BJP’s Lakshadweep unit president, Abdul Khader, the Kavaratti police registered a sedition case against Aisha. Later, the Kerala High Court granted her interim anticipatory bail for one week and directed the filmmaker to appear for investigation.
The statement from the Lakshadweep administration on Tuesday alleges that she refused to provide the documents demanded by the police and also raised several baseless allegations against the police. “Apparently, her aim is to dissuade the police from conducting a proper investigation by unleashing false propaganda,” the statement said.
The administration also stated that there has been steady progress in the investigation despite the non-cooperation of the accused. According to the investigating officers, Aisha had been in constant touch with some people and had been reading from her mobile phone during the panel discussion in which she made the controversial bio-weapon remark.
Opposing the Aisha’s plea to quash FIR, the administration said, “The statement made by her has a tendency to create disorder or disturbance of public peace.”
Lakshadweep administration further claimed that Aisha’s financial statements lack transparency and deserve further investigation. They also claimed that Media One has not been cooperating with the police either and has not responded to the notices sent to them.
Earlier, on July 2, in response to a plea filed by Aisha seeking to quash the sedition case, the Kerala High Court had declined to stay further proceedings citing that the case was still in its infancy.