Police have summoned the Dhivehi Rayyihtunge Party’s (DRP) deputy leader MP Ali Waheed for questioning about his involvement in the protest outside the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) base and president’s residence on 28 January.
Umar Naseer, another deputy leader of the DRP, was summoned for questioning yesterday about his involvement in the protest.
Waheed notified the media he had been summoned shortly before 3pm, and said he would “face the press” afterwards.
He said he had remained silent during questions about his involvement, and about the comments he made to the media about police cooperating with the protesters.
When the police asked him whether he would like to investigate the incident in which he was hit by a stone during the protest, he replied ”no”.
After the questioning concluded Waheed said he had reported three cases to the police and asked them to investigate.
”The first thing I reported was that during the protest a person from the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) – ranked higher than sergeant – used abusive language [against the protesters],” he said.
”Secondly, why that night when MPs asked for police protection were they ignored?”
Thirdly, Waheed said he asked police to investigate an MDP MP who allegedly demanded police stop handcuffing a protester outside parliament during a protest over the decentralisation bill.
Waheed added that it was “really dangerous” for armed police to use abusive language and “threaten people.” He did not mention what was said.
Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair said the government did not believe that the MNDF used abusive language while controlling the protest.
”That was really a dangerous protest by DRP,” he added.
He said it was all right for Waheed to remain silent, but said that ”the police begin such a questioning session of an investigation only after they have collected evidence and proof.”
”As the police is investigating the case we better not comment,” he added.
Spokesperson for Maldivian Democratic Part MDP Ahmed Haleem said also did not believe the MNDF had used abusive language, and furthermore claimed that when MPs asked for police protection the police provided it.
”I was watching the protest very closely,” he said.
Sub Inspector of police Ahmed Shiyam said police were not commenting on whether they would investigate the three cases reported by Ali Waheed.
In a statement police issued on 2 February police said they would launch an investigation of the demonstration outside MDNF and the president’s residence.