Adhaalath Party representative Hussain Wafeer has denied allegations that Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters “physically attacked” its members on the island of Thulhaadhoo in Baa Atoll last week.
The comments were made after local media reported that a crowd of “violent thugs” – led by an unnamed MDP councillor – attempted to attack Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla during a visit to the island.
An unnamed source from Thulhaadhoo previously told the Sun Online news service that the attackers threw stones at the visitors, injuring several people during the incident.
Despite the claims, Wafeer told Minivan News today that while the gathered crowd did not physically attack anyone during the visit, sand was thrown at Adhaalath party representatives.
Wafeer refused to speculate on whether the crowd were true MDP members, or whether an MDP Councillor had been involved in the alleged attack.
“They were waving MDP flags, so we can assume they were MDP, but we didn’t recognise any of the members so we can’t say they were MDP,” Wafeer added.
An official from within Thulhaadhoo Island Council – speaking on condition of anonymity – said that the crowd who greeted the Adhaalath Party officials was both a mix of MDP and anti-MDP supporters. The council source said it was not certain who had thrown sand at Sheikh Imran.
“Some of local women on the island witnessed a Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) councillor throwing sand and causing the trouble, while some people said it was the MDP supporters,” the council official claimed.
“After an hour the riot police showed up and arrested the island President, a councillor and some MDP supporters.”
Adhaalath Party Leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla was not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.
Following the incident, a senior MDP MP told Minivan News that he had received death threats via telephone from unknown callers whom he believed to be members of the Adhaalath Party.
According to Sun Online, the police have arrested a number of individuals allegedly involved in the incident, including an MDP councillor.
Following an MDP protest held in Male’ on Friday (January 25),the Adhaalath Party alleged that demonstrators had verbally abused its supporters and vandalised promotional materials at a membership drive held at a school.
The party also claimed MDP protesters ripped up the party’s banners at the school, which were temporarily put up as part of the membership drive.
Responding to the allegations at the time, MDP MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor claimed that while the party did not encourage such behaviour towards government-aligned parties, he said he would not be surprised if some supporters had ripped up banners during the protest.