Vice President Mohamed Waheed Deen has demanded that the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) take responsibility for the murder of Lance Corporal Adam Haleem, following the stabbing murder of the police officer last night.
Speaking to local media following the murder, Deen claimed the country’s situation had gone “beyond tolerable levels”, and said the Maldives was “no longer a democracy”.
Referring to attacks on police during MDP’s ‘direct action’ protests, Deen claimed that the party was “preventing the democratic process” of the country.
“Now the [situation] in this country has gone beyond tolerable level. This is not democracy, this isn’t democracy at all,” he said.
“I believe those who are encouraging people to carry out attacks on the police are now trying to prevent and obstruct the democratic process of this country. Therefore I do not believe in the activities that [the MDP] are carrying out,” he added.
Deen said that he condemned the “cowardly and ruthless” attack on lance corporal Haleem on strictest terms.
Dean also told the local media that following the incident, a meeting of Crime Reduction Taskforce would be held today to decide against whom action would be taken.
He said that the government would not step back following such actions and reiterated that the government would not be deterred from bringing those that were behind the crime to justice.
“I want to encourage the police officers, don’t you back down! There are some wrong perceptions of the Maldivian police and the military in the international community. But we will face that as well and we will take necessary measures. This is the country of the Maldivian people. This government will not allow any international party to unduly influence this country,” Deen assured.
26 year-old Lance Corporal Adam Haleem was stabbed to death on Kaashidhoo island in Kaafu Atoll on Sunday night.
According to a police statement, the incident took place around 12:00am while Haleem was on his way to report for duty.
The person suspected of killing the police officer is now under arrest, the statement reads. However, police have not identified the suspect or revealed any further details surrounding the murder.
Local media meanwhile has identified the suspect as Samah, a person with prior criminal record, and has reported that he was released to house detention on Sunday following a two day arrest over an assault case.
Health officials from Kaashidhoo Health Center have told local media that Lance Corporal Haleem suffered serious nine-inch deep stab wound to the chest in the attack.
They also confirmed that he was alive but in critical condition when brought to the hospital, and that he died soon afterwards while undergoing treatment.
The process is underway to move the police officer’s body to capital Male’. Haleem, from Kethi house on the island Kaashidhoo, was a husband and father of a one year-old baby.
Haleem’s body has been brought to capital Male’ this morning for further analysis and the police has said that an official funeral will be held in Male’ to bury the deceased.
President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik condemned the attack on Twitter.
“Strongly condemn the killing of a policeman while on duty. Enough of hate mongering against officers of the Law.” He tweeted.
Dr Waheed added in another tweet that there should be “no excuses to kill anyone let alone policemen on duty. Shame on cowards hiding behind anonymity and inciting violence.”
He has also ordered the national flag to be flown at half staff for three days in honor of the slain police officer.
Following the death of lance corporal Haleem, Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) and Police Integrity Commission (PIC) issued statements condemning the attack and called on the authorities to take action to ensure the killer is brought to justice.
HRCM condemned the attack on “strictest terms”.
“It is understandable that this attack will impact the security services of this country. This commission extends condolences to Maldivian Police Services and also encourages the police to stay determined in their legal duty. We also call on the authorities to investigate the attack and ensure those responsible are brought to justice as soon as possible,” read the statement.
HRCM also highlighted the importance of all the authorities jointly working towards preventing such attacks in the country and called on people not to encourage such attacks against police.
The PIC in a short statement condemned the attack and conveyed condolences to the family of the victim.
The opposition MDP has also condemned the attack in a statement released today.
The party also described the politicising of the attack by some political figures as “cowardly”, and called on them to stop using it for political gain.
“This party sees the attempts by some political figures to politicise the attack on lance corporal Haleem for political gain as a cowardly act. We call on the authorities to investigate the matter properly and ensure that those behind this attacks be brought to justice and given the strictest punishment,” read the MDP statement.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed also joined President Waheed in condemning the attack.
“[I] Condemn the tragic murder of the policeman in K.Kaashidhoo in the strongest possible terms,” he tweeted.
The incident has also lead to many individuals condemning the attack on social media and conveyed condolences to the family of the murdered.
Funeral prayers for Lance Corporal Haleem are to be held today after the Asr prayers in the Islamic Centre. He will be buried in Galolhu cemetery after an official funeral ceremony.