Indian national commits suicide in police custody, High Commission raises expatriate concerns

Investigations are continuing into the suicide yesterday of a 39 year-old Indian national in police custody, while the Indian High Commission today raised concerns about the treatment of some expatriates in the Maldives.

The deceased, identified by the Indian High Commission as Scariakutty Kalarikkal Yoyakim, was being held in custody on the island of Dhoonidhoo for the alleged assault of another couple with whom he had been living. Yoyakim had been employed by Crown Company and was living in the same property as the couple, as well as his wife, according to the High Commission. He is also thought to have been in the country with his son and brother.

Police Spokesperson Ahmed Haneef told Minivan News that the man was believed to have taken his life yesterday evening at about 6:50pm, though further details were unavailable at present as investigations were continuing.

Haneef said that the man may have used something to tie around his neck that would allow him to commit suicide inside the cell, but would not confirm any details until police concluded their report.

‘’Today at about 1:00pm in the afternoon his body was sent back to his country in compliance with a request from the deceased’s family,’’ he said.

Condolence gathering

The Indian High Commission confirmed that it had held a condolence gathering for Yoyakim at 5:00pm today, with 50 people in attendance. The meeting included prayers as well as a minute’s silence for the deceased, according to organisers.

A spokesperson for the commission told Minivan News that it was unaware of the nature of the man’s suicide, though the Commission understood police investigations into the death were continuing.

When contacted about the incident, Indian High Commissioner Dynaneshwar Mulay was unable to provide any additional details regarding the case. However, he did raise some concerns over the general treatment of Indian expatriates in the Maldives by the country’s police and judiciary.

Mulay claimed that alongside concerns about the treatment of some Indian expatriates in relation to the law, there were significant issues relating to “basic human rights” that needed to be addressed concerning expatriates from countries including Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Mulay’s comments follow an attack last week on a Indian resort worker, who was reported to have been attacked with a hammer and mugged while staying in a hotel in Male’.  The attack was allegedly committed by a former employee of the same resort.

The victim, identified by India’s Express News Service as 24 year-old Ramakrishnan Sadanandan from Thiruvananthapuram, was reportedly attacked at 2:30pm on March 31 while staying at a local guest house in the capital.


Conflicting reports on death of elderly man following violent protests

The President’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair said the government had not been officially informed of the death of an elderly man who reportedly died after being injured by police attempts to disperse the crowd during yesterday morning’s protests.

Police spokesperson Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam meanwhile said the police had not received any such complaints about a death of an elderly man in the riot. Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) also told Minivan News that it had not received any information about a fatality during the protests.

However, local radio station SunFM reported State Home Minister Mohamed Naeem as saying that an elderly man who was in the riot was injured that admitted to hospital, and died later that evening.

”An elderly man was injured that night and we received news that he passed away that same evening,” SunFM quoted Naeem as saying. ”Some say he died because of his injuries while others say he died of a heart attack, but this has to be confirmed.”

”We have not so far received any official reports regarding incident,” said Zuhair, insisting that police had been “very professional” and had the government’s full confidence.

”We have every confidence in the police to protect the state,” Zuhair said. ”The government welcomes peaceful gatherings but will not tolerate any sort of violence. In no country do the police tolerate this amount of violence.”


Four Maldivians questioned for allegedly committing bestiality with a goat

Police have questioned four men from the island of Makunudhoo in Haa Dhaalu Atoll following allegations the men had sex with a goat.

Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed police had questioned the men, but said no arrests had been made.

President of Makunudhoo Island Council Mohamed Rilwan said that all four of the men were aged between 19 and 21.

Two of the men were from Makunudhoo while the other two were originally from the neighboring island of Neykurendhu, he said.

‘’Lately the owner of the goat had been suspicious that something was wrong because he was finding things such as condoms on his farm where he keeps 50 goats,’’ said Rilwan.

‘’Early one morning when he went to the farm he saw two goats outside the fence and thought it was odd because there was no way a goat could have climbed over the fence.”

Rilwan said the owner then counted the goats and realised one goat was missing, and started searching for it.

‘’He found the goat near the beach, it was laid down on a cardboard paper. He observed that it could not walk properly and that its sexual organs were injured,’’ he said. ‘’He then reported the matter to the concerned authorities.’’

Rilwan said  more than five goats on the farm had been subjected to similar assaults.

‘’The owner has noted that he has frequently seen this group of four men near the farm. They have been selecting healthy muscular goats to do this,’’ he said.

Local newspaper Haveeru reported that the goat found on the beach had now died.

Haveeru also reported that the deceased animal was a billy-goat, however Rilwan told Minivan News that it was a nanny goat.


17 year old bleeds to death after gang-linked triple stabbing

Police are investigating the murder of a 17 year old boy who was stabbed to death by a group of men during an apparent gang fight.

The 17 year old was stabbed in the leg on Friday afternoon near the Social Centre in Maafannu, Male’.

He was admitted to Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital and treated for more than eight hours in the Intensive Care Unit, but the knife severed a major artery and despite an emergency blood transfusion he died the following morning at 6:15am.

He was was buried that afternoon at Aasahara cemetery.

A person familiar with the matter told Minivan News the boy was stabbed when he climbed onto the back of a lorry after watching a football match at Maaziya football ground.

“He was with his friends on a lorry and about to leave, when they were attacked by a group of people people armed with stones and sticks,” the source said. “After a while they came close and stabbed him with a knife. Two other boys were also stabbed, one in the chest and another in the leg.’’

All three victims were taken to IGMH around 6pm.

One of the victims told Minivan News today that a squad of police were active in the area prior to the incident but were unable to control the eruption of violence in the area.

‘’Police officers were running around, but they seemed shocked and didn’t know what to do,’’ said the victim. “The police officers didn’t help, so I ran to IGMH with my friend.’’

The IGMH doctors stitched his wound and told him it was fine, he said.

‘’I was discharged from IGMH that night and I went home, but I did not feel well. I was having difficulty breathing, but since they said I was fine, I thought I was fine,’’ he said.

“Later, I realised air was spreading inside my body and my back, chest, neck and arms were puffing up.’’

He said he went to ADK hospital last night.

‘’Doctors at ADK said that I had been stabbed in the lungs and that one of my lungs had stopped functioning,’’ he said. ‘’They said if I had been any later the air would have reached my brain and they would not have been able to help me.’’

He was admitted at ADK hospital and had a pipe inserted into his lungs due to stem the internal bleeding.

He said that the other boy who was stabbed had been discharged.

The following afternoon two more boys were stabbed in Mahchangolhi, one in the head and another in the back.

A person familiar with the matter said neither were seriously injured.

“One boy was stabbed neat Mahchangolhi cemetery and other was stabbed near Ameenee building,’’ he said. ‘’It was around 11:00 am in the morning – they were stabbed at the same time, one after the other.’’

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed six people were stabbed over the weekend, one fatally.

“Four people were injured on Friday and one of them died. Yesterday afternoon two were injured,’’ he said.

Police have arrested 11 people in connection with the case. Police and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) launched a special operation on July 15 to investigate gang violence.


Second honeymooning tourist dies while snorkelling

A Chinese tourist died yesterday while snorkeling at Chaaya Lagoon Hakurahura Island Resort, less than a day after a German man also died in a snorkelling accident at Embudu Village Island Resort.

Police confirmed the 30 year old was visiting the Maldives from China on his honeymoon.

A senior staff member at the resort told Minivan News that the man died while snorkelling off a boat with his wife near the edge of the reef with a group of tourists, less than a kilometre from the resort’s jetty.

”After they finished snorkelling and everyone came aboard the boat, the boat crew noticed one man was missing,” the staff member said. “The crew immediately started searching for him and informed the hotel management and diving school.”

He said the man was eventually discovered by a team of three resort divers who had been sent out to search for him.

One of the divers told Minivan News that the man appeared to be dead when he was recovered from water.

”When we brought him up there was blood coming from his mouth,” the diver said.

He noted that when the diving team discovered the man he was holding his snorkel tube in his hand “but the mask was missing.”

The team pulled the man aboard the dive boat and attempted to resuscitate him, but he was not breathing.

The man was taken to Meemu Atoll Mulee Regional Hospital and doctors confirmed that he was dead when arrived.

Police sergeant Abdul Muhsin said the man was brought to Male’ today morning and placed in the mortuary. He said a team of police forensics specialists were now investigating the case.

The case is the second snorkelling fatality in as many days. The day prior, a 69 year old German man died while snorkelling at the Embudu Village Island Resort.

Permanent secretary for the Tourism Ministry Ahmed Solih said he would not comment on the cases but noted that the ministry was verifying that safety regulations were being followed by the resorts.

Sim Ibrahim Mohamed from the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) said the resorts needed to be more careful guiding snorkellers, particularly older divers.

The Maldivian resorts’ procedures for guiding and instructing snorkellers were very good, he explained.

”All the resorts have said they inform tourists about the nearby water conditions and tides, and they also tell them the do’s and dont’s.’ But they need to be more careful with old aged people,” Sim said.