New Delhi: India expressed concern on Monday over the "arrest and manhandling" of the Maldives` former president Mohamed Nasheed under an anti-terror law and urged the island nation calmly to sort out its differences.
Nasheed, the country`s first democratically elected president who now leads the main opposition party, was taken into custody by police Sunday for the alleged illegal detention of a judge when he was in power more than three years ago.
The opposition leader was refused bail Monday and denied access to his lawyers after police forcibly dragged him into the court in the capital Male, ignoring his plea to be allowed to walk in himself.
"We are concerned at recent developments in the Maldives, including the arrest and manhandling of former President Nasheed," the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement.
"We urge all concerned to calm the situation and resolve their differences within the constitutional and legal framework of Maldives."
The ministry added that India was committed "to supporting the people and the Government of Maldives in their quest for peace, development, prosperity and democracy".
International reaction to Nasheed`s arrest has mostly been muted, but Britain has echoed concerns similar to India`s.
The charges against the 47-year-old relate to the 2012 arrest of the criminal court chief judge Abdullah Mohamed for alleged corruption.
Nasheed resigned as president in February 2012 following a mutiny by police and troops that followed weeks of protest over Mohamed`s arrest.
Since his downfall, he has been plagued with court action over the judge`s arrest.