Bhasker Demands to Ensure Free Movement to Islanders

Port Blair, May 22: The Congress Campaign Committee Chairman, A&N Islands Mr. TSG Bhasker has written a letter to the Hon'ble Lt. Governor, A&N Islands on Monday to bring his attention towards the plight of passengers travelling to the Southern Group of Islands.

In the letter, Mr. Bhasker said that all areas of the Southern Group of Islands except where Shompen tribes live are accessible for the general public. However, the Directorate of Shipping Services is not issuing tickets to those who do not have Islanders Card, though they have been living in that area for a very long time. They have Aadhar Card from the respective areas but do not possess Islanders Card.

"This is against the constitution and it is not mentioned anywhere in the Gazette or no notification is issued by the A&N Administration restricting the peoples to travel in Campbell Bay or any other Islands of Southern Group", said Mr. Bhasker.

He further added that many Islanders were employed in the Rubber Plantation at Katchal Island and these people have been residing there for more than 50 years. However due to the closure of Rubber Plantation, they not only lost their livelihood, but also the rights to live on the Island because of restrictions imposed.

"Moreover, the business community people who have established their business in Campbell Bay and in other areas of Southern Group are not able to come at Port Blair as they fear of not being allowed to return back to these Islands where they are currently residing", he added.

Concluding his letter, Mr. Bhasker requested the Hon'ble Lt. Governor to see that the poor Islanders are not harassed by unnecessary rules and ensure the free movement of Island people to Southern Group even if they do not have Islanders Card. He also requested the Hon'ble Lt. Governor to issue necessary directions to the DSS for issuing the tickets.