Gujarat Exclusive > National-World > Kerala HC grants anticipatory bail to Lakshadweep filmmaker Ayesha Sultana in sedition case

Kerala HC grants anticipatory bail to Lakshadweep filmmaker Ayesha Sultana in sedition case


The Kerala High Court on Friday granted anticipatory bail to Lakshadweep-based filmmaker Ayesha Sultana. She had approached the high court earlier this month for anticipatory bail after being charged for sedition and hate speech for her remarks made in the context of the COVID-19 crisis in the island during a debate on a TV news channel.

She moved the court as the Lakshadweep Police had asked her to appear before the Kavaratti police in connection with the FIR. The filmmaker was apprehending arrest in the case if she goes to Kavaratti.

The case was filed against her on the basis of a complaint made by a local BJP leader. Sultana contended before the court that she has been falsely implicated in the case with “ulterior motive and vexatious intentions”.

Ayesha Sultana’s controversial remarks

The filmmaker had blamed COVID cases in the island on administrator Praful Patel’s decisions and remarked that the Centre had used “bio-weapon” against Lakshadweep. The administrator had been accused by protesters including Lakshadweep Parliamentarian Mohammed Faizal in the past of doing away with quarantine protocols that were a must for people to enter Lakshadweep.

During a debate on a Malayalam TV, Sultana said, “Lakshadweep had zero cases of COVID-19. Now it is reporting a daily spike of 100 cases. What the Centre has deployed is a bioweapon. I can say this clearly that the central government has deployed bioweapon.”

After the controversy erupted and an FIR was filed against her, Ayesha Sultana took to Facebook to defend her comments. She said, “They have filed a sedition case against me but I want to reiterate that truth will win. Case was filed by a BJP worker from Lakshadweep. I will continue my fight for the land where I was born. We do not fear anyone. My voice is going to be louder now.”

Outrage over the case

Several politicians from Kerala have voiced support for Sultana. It includes Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and CPI (M) leader Thomas Isaac. Many incumbent ministers in the Kerala government have also extended their support to Sultana.

The Supreme Court, too, had criticised the governments for rampant abuse of the sedition law and clarified that criticising the government does not amount to sedition.


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