Several islanders on Monday held an underwater protest and staged a 12-hour hunger strike. The locals fasted, while all shops and establishments remained closed except medical services from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.Protestors, underwater, held placards with slogans ‘Save Lakshadweep’ and ‘Save Democracy’. An organisation named ‘Save Lakshadweep Forum’ was formed to protest against the rules.The islanders observed a 12-hour hunger strike from their homes to mark their agitation against the draft regulations, which also proposes a ban on buying and selling of beef and beef products without a certificate from a competent authority. While the administrator also proposed to lift the restriction on alcohol, allowing resorts to serve alcohol to tourists. Lakshadweep is the only union territory in India, where a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol exists.Residents opposed the draft Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulation, 2021, which bars candidates with more than two children from becoming a member of the gram panchayat. However, the clause does not apply to those who have more than two children, before the commencement of the regulation. Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act (PASA) or ‘goonda act’ was also included in the draft put forward by Patel.United Democratic Front’s (UDF) MPs of Kerala protested outside the administration’s office in Kochi, Kerala, demanding the proposals made by the island administration to be scrapped, as they consider it as a threat to Lakshadweep’s culture. The local administration warned that strict action will be taken under the COVID-19 pandemic laws to deter crowds from gathering at public places.Workers of Loktantrik Yuva Janata Dal (LJD) poured cow dung over the effigy of Patel to protest against the Lakshadweep Development Authority, which proposed to develop the island into a major tourism destination. Residents alleged that it will threaten the island’s character.