India says don't travel to Maldives in advisory as political crisis in island nation deepens

The advisory came hours after Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared a 15-day state of emergency in the country

India says don't travel to Maldives in advisory as political crisis in island nation deepens
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New Delhi: Amid a political crisis brewing in the Maldives, the Indian government on Monday asked all nationals to defer any non-essential travel to the Indian Ocean nation. Cautioning citizens, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued an advisory asking Indians in Maldives to stay alert and avoid public gatherings.

Taking to Twitter, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar wrote:

“The prevailing political developments in Maldives and the resultant law and order situation is a matter of concern for the Government of India. Indian nationals are, therefore, advised to defer all non-essential travels to Male and other atolls until further notice," the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

“Indian expatriates in Maldives are also alerted to the need for heightened security awareness, and urged to exercise due caution in public and avoid public gatherings,” it added.

The advisory came hours after Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared a 15-day state of emergency, amid a tense standoff between the Supreme Court and the government.

"All basic rights have been suspended. Security forces have sweeping powers to arrest and search," Member of Parliament, Eva Abdulla said.

The move gave sweeping powers to security forces to arrest and detain suspects.

Among those arrested include Former Maldives president President Mohamed Nasheed and former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb. Mohamed Nasheed is the country`s first democratically elected president.

Maldives police also arrested Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another Supreme Court judge on Tuesday, hours after the state of emergency was declared. This is an escalation of a legal battle with the archipelago's top court.

Police said in a Twitter message they had arrested Saeed and Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed "for an ongoing investigation". It gave no details about the allegations or charges against the two judges. 

President Yameen's action to declare emergency followed after Maldives Supreme Court revoked terrorism charges against nine leading opposition figures including Mohamed Nasheed, ordering them to be freed last week.

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