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'Disturbed' by Maldives emergency, monitoring situation carefully, says India

Maldives has seen a number of political crisis since the ouster of its first democratically-elected president Nasheed in 2012.

'Disturbed' by Maldives emergency, monitoring situation carefully, says India
Maldivian police stand guard on a main street during a protest by opposition supporters against government's delay in releasing their jailed leaders (Pic courtesy: Reuters)

New Delhi: India on Tuesday said that it was disturbed by the situation in the Maldives where President Abdulla Yameen has declared a state of emergency.

"We are disturbed by the declaration of a state of emergency in the Maldives following the refusal of the government to abide by the unanimous ruling of the full bench of the Supreme Court on February 1 and also by the suspension of constitutional rights of the people of Maldives," the External Affairs Ministry said in statement.

"The arrest of the Supreme Court chief justice and political figures are also reasons for concern. The government continues to carefully monitor the situation," it stated.

The statement comes after former Maldives president Mohammed Nasheed, earlier on Tuesday, sought India`s help to resolve the raging political crisis in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation.

Taking to Twitter, Nasheed, 50, said that he was requesting India, on behalf of the Maldivian people, to send its envoy, "backed by its military", to release judges and political detainees, including former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

He also requested the US "to stop all financial transactions of Maldives regime leaders going through US banks".

Nasheed was the country's first democratically-elected leader and was sentenced to 13 years in jail on terror charges in March 2015 over the arbitrary arrest of chief criminal judge Abdullah Muhammed during his presidency.

He was granted asylum in the UK after he was authorised to seek medical treatment there amid mounting foreign pressure. Nasheed was narrowly defeated in 2013 by President Yameen. 

He says his conviction on terror charges was politically motivated.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were arrested hours after Yameen declared a state of emergency on Monday. Former president Gayoom, who has allied himself with the Opposition, was also detained at his home.

In a televised address to the nation today, President Yameen accused judges of plotting to overthrow him. "I had to declare a national emergency because there was no other way to investigate these judges," he said.

"We had to find out how thick the plot or coup was," he said, adding that the chief justice was trying to illegally impeach him and sack the attorney general.

The country has seen a number of political crisis since the ouster of Nasheed in 2012.

(With IANS and PTI inputs)