Police say they have concluded investigation into the arson attacks against government offices and the police station on Thinadhoo in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll on February 8, a day which saw protests erupt across the country after a brutal police crackdown on a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) protest against the party’s controversial ousting from power the previous day.
According to a statement from police, the names of 108 people involved in the arson attacks were sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office, to be forwarded to the Criminal Court for prosecution.
The police station, island court and atoll council office were burnt to the ground by angry protesters in Thinadhoo. Similar scenes erupted in Addu Atoll, the second most populated area in the Maldives after the capital.
In March, spokesperson for new President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan, Abbas Adil Riza, said “the government will not negotiate in releasing those arrested and charged for terrorism, and will not let them be considered political prisoners,” in reference to MDP protesters held in custody following the riots.
In May the MDP claimed that the Prosecutor General (PG) had filed charges against 60 MDP members for obstruction of police duty during the party’s three-month series of protests. If charges are proved, the accused may be jailed for six months or fined up to Rf 12,000 (US$800) each.
Some of the MDP supporters charged during that time have been summoned to the Criminal Court, and trials are ongoing.
Meanwhile, the MDP has been continuing its calls for the government to release MDP supporters charged for their participation in MDP rallies.
An islander on Thinadhoo in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll today discovered an abandoned newborn baby inside a garage this morning.
Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed the incident occurred and said the police were currently trying to trace the baby’s mother.
‘’It was a male baby and he was in a good condition when found,’’ Shiyam said. ‘’So far no arrests have been made.’’
Shiyam said the investigation was still on going and details would be revealed later.
Local media reported that the baby was admitted to Thinadhoo hospital and that an anonymous woman had phoned the hospital and claimed the baby.
However, later there was no sign of her and the authorities have not yet revealed if she has been found or if the caller was traced.
On May 5 a dead infant was found in a plastic bag in the swimming track area of Male’. A medical examination later concluded that the baby had sustained cuts, bruises and other wounds.
On May 21, the corpse of a premature baby boy was discovered inside a Coast Milk tin on the island of Villingli.
Police Sub-Inspector Shiyam at the time told told Minivan News that the dead child, believed by forensic examiners to have been born three months premature, was discovered in a discarded container near the power house area of the island.
On May 22, the body of a newborn baby boy discovered in a park in Hulhumale’ was found with underwear tied tightly around his neck.
Spokesperson for Hulhumale’ Hospital Dr Ahmed Ashraf said the baby may have died from asphyxiation.
‘’When the baby was found the knot was a bit loose, but the marks on its neck shows that it was tied tightly around the neck,’’ Dr Ashraf said, regarding that incident.