Thakandhu Island office hijacked over jackfruit tree

A group of people hijacked the Haa Alifu Atoll Thakandhu island office on Monday after were unable to cut down a jackfruit tree on the land where they planned to build a pre-school.

Island Chief of Thakandhu said that he could not give information as ”the person who gives information is not here.”

However a person familiar with the matter told Minivan News that the hijackers was a group who were trying to establish a pre-school on the island.

He said the group was angry because “they were asking for a court warrant to cut the tree, but the tree belongs to a man on Thakandhu.”

He said the island court ruled to that the tree could be felled after payment of RF2000 to the owner.

”But the owner wants Rf 8000,” the source explained, “and he went to appeal it in the High Court.”

”So they have to wait until the High Court rules they can build the preschool, and that’s why they are  protesting.”

He said the group entered the island office the day before yesterday and blocked the island chief and staff from entering.

”The staffs working in the office were not able to do their work,” the source said, adding that “yesterday also they gathered near the island office with microphones and loudspeakers.”

He said the police came and dispersed the crowd yesterday, although nobody was arrested.

Police Sergeant Abdul Muhusin said the crowed was dispersed at 7:00pm yesterday.

Muhusin said that the people were gathered near the island office when police arrived the island at 3 pm.

State minister for home Ahmed Adil said he had no information about the case.


Arrests in Laamu Gan after gang attacks on police

Police have arrested 22 people including four children under the age of 18 in Laamu Gan, after they were attacked during a wave of gang violence.

Police said the attacks occurred on Saturday morning at 4:00am, after the gang, believed to be from Mathimaradhu, “appeared suddenly from a forest.”

Police alleged gang members broke the glass windows of a shop in the industrial area of Mathimaradhu, burnt down a hut in Mulurimagu [district] and broke the windows of two houses. When they tried to stop the gang members, police claim they they were attacked and a police vehicle damaged.

Two policemen were seriously injured in the attack, including one suffered a broken arm after he was hit by a metal tube and another who was struck in the arm by a piece of wood with nails in it.

Police have recovered some of the weapons used in the attack from a house in Mathimaradhu, including swords, knives, metal pipes and blocks.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said the injured two police officers have been brought to Male’ and admitted in Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

He said the police were investigating the case but refused to give more information.

Island Chief of Gan office Abdul Rahman said that the attack on Saturday night was a gang war between the two districts Mathimaradhu and Mukuri Magu that had been going on for a long time, “for at least three months.”

”Several times many of them have been injured,” Rahman said, ”but this is the first time they attacked the police and damaged property.”

He said most of the gang members were under the age of eighteen.

”We do not know why they have been fighting,” he said. ”We had not received any reports on these fights.”

He said there was a distance of 30 minutes between the two districts on foot.