Male/Colombo: A criminal court in Male issued an arrest warrant, Thursday, against deposed Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed and former defence minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu, even as the situation in the archipelago nation threatened to spiral out of control.
As per reports, the Judge who ordered arrest of Nasheed was earlier sacked by the former president. However, charges against them are yet unclear.
“An arrest warrant has been issued for him and his former defence minister," MDP official Adam Manik told a news agency. "We have no idea (what the charges are)."
Reports of Nasheed’s arrest came at a time when serious concerns are being raised about his safety.
Although, Nasheed is said to be in Maldives but his whereabouts remain unknown. While some reports said that he has been missing since he was beaten up by the police yesterday, other claimed that he is in a safe house.
Latest reports from Male suggest that Nasheed may have been put under house arrest by the regime of new President Mohamed Waheed. The President has confirmed that Nasheed is safe but he did not elaborate further.
Meanwhile, Maldives police, a key player in events that led to his resignation, accused Nasheed’s party MDP of fomenting "terrorism" as violence has spread across the nation following Nasheed’s ouster.
Will never step back: Nasheed
The nation`s first democratically elected president, Nasheed resigned after police joined months of street protests against his rule and soldiers defected. He said that he was forced to step down at gunpoint and will fight to return to office, though President Waheed had denied that his predecessor was forced out of office.
"We will come to power again," Nasheed said. "We will never step back. I will not accept this coup and will bring justice to the Maldivians."
Nasheed insisted he was pushed from power by the armed forces.
"I was forced to resign with guns all around me. They told me, if I don`t resign, they won`t hesitate to use arms," he said.
Nasheed`s supporters rioted Wednesday in Male, the capital, and seized some remote police stations, but Amnesty International said they had been peacefully marching before police attacked them. The streets of Male appeared normal but tense today morning.
Family flees to Sri Lanka
With tensions rising in the island paradise, Nasheed’s family fled the country and sought refuge in Sri Lanka following unrest, a media report said.
Nasheed`s wife Laila Ali arrived in Colombo yesterday night, without saying who else was accompanying her.
She is reported to have spoken to President Mahinda Rajapaksa over telephone after her arrival.