Police have this evening launched new measures detailing increased scrutiny of the capital’s streets and surrounding waters to try and control fears over a potential outbreak of unrest in the build up to the release of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) Report.
Police have today announced that extra traffic check points will be stationed around the streets of Male’, while some areas will be closed off entirely. Boats docking in the city’s will also be searched, with some vessels potentially being sent back to their point of origin.
The intensified security measures are being introduced as the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) this week alleged rumours had been spread by “mutinying” officers that certain sections of the police planned to take to the capital’s streets to create “havoc”. The accusations have been rebuked by the police.
Maldives Police Service Assistant Commissioner Hussain Waheed today told reporters that authorities had decided to strengthen security across the capital and other islands, in order to “not give any opportunity to create unrest”.
“We have received information that some people are negotiating with former inmates released under Second Chance Program to create unrest in Male’,” Waheed observed while speaking at a press conference held today to announce the special operation which has come into effect at 6:00pm today.
During the operation, which will continue indefinitely, police said, they will be visiting mass gatherings in the capital.
According to Waheed, Marine police will also assist in searching boats and other vessels coming to Male’, while some boats may be “diverted” by the police. Groups of political activists have traditionally been brought from other islands to the capital in the past to participate in significant political rallies.
“We will take strict action against anyone attempting to disrupt peace and security of the nation.” he added, contending that the police have the authority to disperse a gathering without a warning if they find it to be provoking unrest.
However, he said the police will provide full support and security services to the demonstrations held “peacefully and within the contours of laws”.
Fears are growing across the Maldives over escalation of unrest and violence as the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) findings are scheduled to be released on Thursday, in a bid to provide details about the controversial transfer of power on February 7.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed and the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) maintains he was forced to resign in an opposition backed military-police coup.
The party recently alleged mutinying sections of the police planned to create unrest and violence on the streets of Male’ as senior politicians began contemplating the release of findings by the CNI.
However, Police Spokesperson Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef refuted the claims when speaking to Minivan News yesterday, adding that the party’s comments reflected what he said were attempts by former President Mohamed Nasheed to “erode public trust” in the police and create “fear” among the general public.
“The police are always professional. Right now we are taking precautions regarding information we are receiving,” he claimed
Haneef added that the authorities would be stationing officers around the country, adding that the police would “not tolerate unrest”.