Despite unlock, the Islanders are denied the fundamental right to speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution of India ever since March, 2020, said B Chandrachoodan, State General Secretary, Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU), in a letter addressed to the Lieutenant Governor.
He further said that during the period of nation-wide lockdown in the wake of outbreak of Covid-19, almost all the democratic rights of the Islanders were infringed by the authorities in the Andaman and Nicobar Administration and people were not allowed to protest, to conduct any movement, etc.
After the unlock 5, announced by the Govt. of India, political parties and other organizations were allowed to hold meetings, gatherings, etc. by observing all the Covid-19 protocols. Large congregations of people organized by the political parties, trade unions, etc are taking place in almost all parts of the country. However, in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Administration is preventing the organizations to stage protest, hold public meetings, conduct processions, etc without any reason. Andaman and Nicobar Islands being a centrally-administered territory, all the orders of the Government of India are automatically implemented here without any further rider, the presser said.
It further blamed that when they approached the District Administration and Police for permission to conduct public meetings and protest programme in connection with the call given by the central trade unions, they continued to deny the permission sought for without any reason.
Chandrachoodan requested the Lieutenant Governor to intervene in the matter and direct the authorities concerned to allow the organizations to conduct protest programmes, processions, public meetings, mike accouncements, etc in view of the lifting of all the restrictions by the central government and, thus, restore democratic rights in these islands at par with the mainland territories.