Vice president of the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Umar Naseer was yesterday summoned to police headquarters for questioning about his involvement in the protest outside the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) base and president’s residence on 28 January.
Sub Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said Naseer was summoned at 3pm ”for questioning regarding his shaking of MNDF’s gate.”
He said the police were currently investigating the case and ”can’t give out more details”.
MNDF Major Ibrahim Afsal also said he could not comment on the issue because police were investigating the case.
However, Press Secretary for the President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair claimed Umar Naseer’s shaking of the gates showed he was illegally trying to enter president’s official residence and the MNDF base.
”It was not a peaceful protest,” Zuhair said, saying Naseer’s actions appeared on CCTV footage of the incident.
”The police are now investigating the case, so we better not say anything yet,” he said.
Naseer acknowledged he was taken to the police yesterday.
He said the police questioned him whether he shook the gates of MNDF and president’s residence, and ”I said I did, and I still do.”
Naseer said he shook the gates of MNDF to “enter there and make the MNDF take part in our protest.”
“Their main reason for [summoning] me was to shut down the opposition demonstration,” he said. ”That night we did not commit any crimes.”
Spokesman for DRP and also the party’s Vice President Ibrahim Shareef said the government had now started arresting protesters.
”They said protesting was fine before they came to administration,” Shareef said, ”and now that they have got the administration they have started arresting protesters.”
Shareef claimed he remembers a time when president Mohamed Nasheed used to come out for protests and shake the gate of former president’s residence Theemuge.
”The police should investigate that case as well,” he said.
Spokesman for the Maldivian Democrartic Party (MDP) Ahmed Haleem said the party would not comment.