Filmmaker Aisha Sultana appears before Lakshadweep Police

Kavaratti: Filmmaker Aisha Sultana, who is facing a sedition charge for her ‘bio-weapon’ remark, appeared before the police on Sunday.

Sultana’s plea for anticipatory bail in the case was accepted by the Kerala High Court on Thursday, but she was asked to appear before the police on June 20.

Kerala High Court granted interim anticipatory bail for a week to the filmmaker in the sedition case registered against her in Lakshadweep for her ‘bio-weapon’ remark and has reserved its final order. Single Judge Bench of Justice Ashok Menon directed her to appear on June 20 before Kavaratti Police for interrogation. The court gave the directions while considering her anticipatory bail plea here on Thursday.

Lakshadweep Police registered a case against the filmmaker with charges of sedition and hate speech on June 11.

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.

The FIR against Sultana comes at a time when there is an uproar against Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda Patel over the new reforms introduced by him, which people allege are against the interest of the islanders.

People are protesting against the draft legislation 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 neighbouring state Kerala.