The walls of the cemetery in Maafaanu have been demolished by Male’ City Council, reports Haveeru, after the Council received complaints that the area was being used for sex and drug dealing.
“Public complaints were received about widespread abuse and trade of illegal drugs and inappropriate sexual activities carried out inside Maafannu Cemetery,” Deputy Mayor Ahmed Shamah told Haveeru. We will expose those places.”
Shamah said the Council would observe the impact of opening the area on the local drug trade and then determine whether to demolish the walls of other cemeteries in the city.
No injuries have been recorded following a fire that damaged equipment and a cemetery building yesterday in Machangoalhi, Male’, local new reports have said.
Police authorities have confirmed that the blaze struck a second floor block used as staff accommodation at the “Aaa Sahara” cemetery, according to Haveeru.
The Maldives National Defence Force’s (MNDF) Fire and Rescue department dealt with the blaze, whilst police are now investigating the possible causes of the fire, the report added.
The cemetery (Aa-sahara) in Male’ has reached capacity and Male’ municipality council has begun burying dead bodies on top of one another, by adding six feet of soil to the burial ground.
Islamic burial practices state that bodies must be buried six feet under the earth, and must not be stacked above other bodies – a logistical challenge for densely-populated Male’, where space is at a premium.
Head of Municipality Council Adam ‘Sarangu’ Manik said the council had no other choice because there was no other land in the city to bury dead bodies.
”We have to do it like this because every day one or two people need be buried there,” Adam explained.
”The soil was put on top of the graves and prepared by the former government,” he said. ”We have no other place to bury dead bodies, so we continued burying them there.”
State Islamic Minister Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed reiterated that under Islam it was prohibited to bury dead bodies in this manner.
”It is allowed only if there is no other way,” Sheikh Shaheem said, noting ”it is not a must to only bury dead people in Male’ – there is space in Hulhumale and Villingili. We should take the dead bodies in a speed boat to Hulhumale’, Villingili or another nearby island,” he said.