The government will compensate police officers for damages incurred during nationwide unrest on February 8, 2012, Commissioner of Police Hussain Waheed has announced.
According to police media, Waheed gave information concerning the planned compensation to senior officers at a meeting of the police management board today.
Waheed said individual police officers stationed across the country have yet to be compensated for physical harm and damage to personal property during the February 8 civil unrest.
“However, the commissioner of police said the government has now decided to arrange compensation very soon for police officers who suffered damages that day,” police said.
On February 8, thousands of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) supporters led by former President Mohamed Nasheed took to the streets of the capital in protest against a “coup d’etat” they alleged was perpetrated by mutinous elements of the police and military the previous day.
A brutal crackdown on the protest march in Malé sparked riots across the country, which saw police vehicles, courts and police stations torched in Thinadhoo and Addu City. Police officers were forced off several other islands.
Following an investigation, the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) concluded that the heavy-handed police crackdown on the MDP walk was “brutal” and “without warning” while the “disproportionate” use of force left dozens of demonstrators injured and hospitalised.
More than 160 people from the southern atolls are currently facing terrorism charges for the acts of arson.
In addition to police motorbikes, police said today that phones, laptops, valuables, and other personal belongings such as clothes were also set on fire and completely destroyed during the unrest.
Several police officers were left with only the clothes they were wearing, police said.
Last month, the government decided to reinstate a discontinued service and merit allowance for both police and military personnel.
The allowances were discontinued in 2009 during former President Nasheed’s administration.
Security services personnel who have served between ten and 20 years were eligible for the service allowance, while policemen and army officers who have attained higher education were to be eligible for a professional allowance.
A similar allowance was to be given to officials who have undergone training related to their fields.