NEW DELHI: The Ministry of External Affairs on Monday expressed concerns over the political crisis prevailing in Maldives.
"Prevailing political developments in Maldives and resultant law and order situation is a matter of concern for GoI. Indian nationals are advised to defer all non-essential travels to Male and other atolls until further notice," the ministry said.
MEA further said, "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."
The MEA also issued an advisory for the Indian Nationals traveling to Maldives. The ministry's official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar took to Twitter and said, "Indian nationals are advised to defer all non-essential travel to Male and other atolls untill further notice. Detailed travel advisory at http://mymea.in/cx4"
"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. 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," the advisory read.
Amid massive protests, Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Gayoom declared a state of emergency for a period of 15 days. "All basic rights have been suspended. Security forces have sweeping powers to arrest and search," Member of Parliament, Eva Abdulla said.
The protests erupted after President Gayoom refused to follow the Supreme Court's ruling to release the key political prisoners and reinstate the 12 MPs. The high-profile prisoners also include self-exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb.
Last Thursday, the Supreme Court had ruled that all politicians opposed to President Gayoom, including Nasheed, should be released. It had further said that their trials were "politically influenced".
The government has so far refused to implement the order, saying it had concerns about releasing those who were convicted for "terrorism, graft, embezzlement and treason".
It said it had been advised by the Chief Justice to follow "due process in releasing the detainees".
Nasheed, the country's first democratically elected leader, took office in 2008. He was ousted in a coup in February 2012.
The country has seen political unrest since he was sentenced to 13 years in jail in 2015 on terrorism charges. He was given political asylum in the UK in 2016.