Police have sought a warrant from the Criminal Court to dismantle the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) protest site at ‘Usgandu’, following a request made by the Home Ministry.
In a statement, police said the request was made to the court yesterday afternoon at 1:00pm.
Police said the Home Ministry had requested police implement a decision made by cabinet to reclaim the land from the MDP-dominated Male’ City Council, and give it to the Housing Ministry.
On May 9, the Housing Ministry wrote to Male’ City Council requesting it hand over ‘Usgandu’ to the ministry, however the Council declined to do so, police noted.
The statement said the land was given to Male’ City Council according to laws that placed state land under the jurisdiction of local councils.
MDP Chairperson and MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik yesterday claimed that if police dismantled the MDP protest camp at Usgandu, protests would erupt all across Male’.
Moosa said that if their camp was dismantled, MDP supporters would gather near the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) – the same area the then-opposition aligned parties held a series of protests against former President Mohamed Nasheed.
Moosa added that the Uagandu was given by Male’ City Council to MDP according to the law, and that security forces had no right to restrict citizens from claiming a fundamental right such as freedom of assembly.
Following the controversial transfer of power on February 7, Male’ City Council allocated the empty area near the tsunami monument to the MDP, which set up a protest camp.
However on March 19, hours after President Dr Waheed Hassan Manik delivered his inaugural speech to the parliament, security forces raided the area, dismantled the camp and painted over anti-government graffiti, removing all trace of MDP from the area.
Male’ City Council subsequently granted Usgandu to MDP to conduct their political activities until the end of June. The MDP meanwhile filed a case against the dismantling of the tsunami monument site in the Civil Court, which is ongoing.
Police Spokesperson Hassan Haneef today told Minivan News that there were no updates on the story as of yet, adding that he had not been informed whether the court had issued the warrant.