A group of pro-government supporters clashed on Monday with Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters that went to Kulhudhufushi in Haa Dhaalu Atoll with former President Mohamed Nasheed.
According to Vice President of Kulhudhufushi Council Farooq Mohamed, a group of government supporters gathered at the harbor opposing the former president’s visit to the island.
“They gathered at the harbor before Nasheed arrived and started yelling that Nasheed would have to kill them all if he wanted to step on Kulhudhufuhsi,’’ Farooq said. “Then a boat full of MDP supporters arrived at the island and the government supporters threw stones and other things at the boat.’’
He said that MDP supporters and government supporters then clashed “and threw things at each other.”
“There were no major injuries reported but they vandalised one of the boats that arrived with MDP supporters,’’ Farooq said.
He also alleged that the police officers on the island sided with government supporters.
According to Kulhudhufushi’s online newspaper, supporters of the government tried to block former President Nasheed’s planned visit to the island and threw stones and water bottles at the boat that arrived to the island with supporters of MDP, prior to Nasheed’s arrival.
In a statement, police said that there was unrest in Kulhudhufushi when the former President arrived, but said it was controlled.
Several police officers who worked to control the unrest were injured, police said in the statement, adding that police were still active on the island to control unrest.
Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Media Coordinator and MP Ahmed Nihan and PPM MP and Spokesperson Ahmed Mahlouf did not respond at time of press.
On January 25, 2011, Kulhudhufushi was the scene of the first cabinet meeting to be held outside Male’.
Nasheed’s cabinet discussed developing roads on the island, harbours, house construction, utilities and how to use recently reclaimed land on the island.
In October 2010 the dredging vessel Queen of the Netherlands increased the size of the island by a third within two weeks.
The growth of the island has left islanders a little disconcerted, Kulhudhuffishi Councillor Jamsheed Mohamed told Minivan News at the time.
“When we wake up in the morning, the island is bigger than we left it the night before,” Mohamed said.
Not everybody was pleased with the island’s expansion. Fisherman Mohamed Iqbal said the new harbour “is very far from where people live, which means that anybody wanting to buy fish has to walk a longer distance on Kulhudhuffushi than they ever have had to before.”