Aug 31 (NIA) – Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Maldives in the early hours of Wednesday, demanding for President Abdulla Yameen’s immediate resignation.
Riot police were deployed in many parts of capital Male and reports alleged that police had used pepper spray to disperse the crowds.
Security forces were on alert in Malé since Tuesday evening ahead of the un-announced protest, amid rumors of a plot to remove Yameen from office.
Local media reports said that dozens of soldiers were stationed at the supreme court, the republic square and at the president’s residence at Hilaaleege. Riot police had cordoned off the streets leading up to the president’s residence to traffic and pedestrians.
The protest was the Maldives United Opposition’s first since the Maldives parliament approved a new law limiting protests and gatherings to set areas.
Reports said that some protesters were treated at the hospital after being pepper-sprayed at close range.
The protest came hours after the criminal court issued arrest warrants for MUO leader’s, former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, both of whom were recently granted political refugee status by the British government.
The MUO has vowed to arrest President Yameen on corruption charges.
The BBC earlier this week reported that a move to oust the President is being planned and the government knew of claims of an attempt to “overthrow” the government, describing it as a “clear breach of international norms”.