Male, June 6. (Raajje.mv): The Parliamentary Group Leader of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Ahmed Nihan has said that he was denied entry into India due to his political affiliations. The incident took place on Monday night at the Chennai airport.
Nihan said that he held by India’s Bureau of Immigration for hours after landing at Chennai International Airport, and was detained for an additional four hours after he told them that he was a Member of the People’s Majlis of the ruling PPM. The MP described his treatment as “bullying”.
The parliamentarian added that he believes he was refused entry for being a senior member of PPM, as he was questioned on the party he belonged to.
Nihan also said that India’s Immigration had failed to provide him a reason for denying him entry, adding that he would describe their actions as “bullying”.
India’s “The Wire” reported that Nihan arrived at India at about 9 pm, and that he was denied entry “despite providing all credentials to immigration officers” and told to leave India on the next available flight.
While this is the first known such incident of such a senior Maldivian official being denied entry to India, relations between India and Maldives continue to deteriorate over issues such as China’s growing influence in Maldives, India’s continued criticism of the Maldivian government’s actions including the imposition of a state of emergency in February.
Following a statement issued by India over the extension of the said state of emergency, Maldives had accused the Indian government of ignoring “the facts and ground realities with regard to the ongoing political developments in the Maldives”, and has since given them a deadline to take back the second of two ALH helicopters gifted by the country that was once one of Maldives’ closest allies.
Now the Maldivian Defense Minister has said that his country will return both the helicopters and go for a Dornier aircraft from another source. One of the two helicopters given by India has already been given back following the end of the lease agreement.