Male ,September 1 (NIA): Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed’s family residence was raided Wednesday evening by the police seeking details of an alleged “coup” plot being hatched by opposition parties in the Maldives, as well as UK and Sri Lanka, Maldivian Independent reported.
The criminal court meanwhile issued a warrant for Nasheed’s arrest on a charge of misusing state funds. Nasheed is believed to be in Colombo, Sri Lanka, allegedly plotting to overthrow President Abdulla Yameen by “legal means” not a military or civilian “coup”.
Earlier the police had detained a former opposition member of the Majlis (parliament) Ilyas Labeeb.
About ten officers spent half an hour at Kenereege in Malé conducting an investigation about Nasheed’s activities, according to Nasheed’s cousin and opposition MP, Eva Abdulla. The officers searched all the bedrooms and bathrooms, but said they did not find any items of interest, she said.
“This is absolutely unjustified. President Nasheed has been away for a very long time. Only his parents live there now,” Eva Abdulla said.
Nasheed, who was granted political refugee status by the British government in May, went to Sri Lanka earlier this month with other leaders of the Maldives United Opposition, a broad coalition of opposition parties and former senior government officials that is seeking to oust President Abdulla Yameen over human rights abuses and charges of corruption.
A warrant has also been issued for Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, Yameen’s former deputy and the head of the MUO. Ilyas was accosted by a group of policemen at a café in Malé at 6pm and taken to the police headquarters, where his phone was seized. But he was released within an hour, lawyers said.
Mounting Tension in Male
Tensions was high in Malé. Security Forces were stationed at the Supreme Court, the Republic Square and the President’s residence at Hilaaleege. The Progressive Party of the Maldives-dominated parliament recently approved a bill barring protests in Malé.
Protesters first gathered on Orchid Magu, a block away from Hilaaleege. Soon after Twitter posts urging supporters to gather at the area began circulating, riot police moved in, set up barricades and quickly dispersed the crowd using pepper spray.
Some were treated at the hospital after being pepper-sprayed at close range.
Ministers and MPs have rushed to Yameen’s defence, slamming the opposition as traitors working with foreign governments to attack on the Maldives’ sovereignty.
On social media, government supporters have launched a campaign with the hashtag ‘Healing Paradise,’ a pun on an upcoming corruption expose of the Yameen administration by Al Jazeera, titled ‘Stealing Paradise.’