Tuesday 24th May 2022
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Indian Imperialism

India gave 12-hour deadline to Solih to remove IndiaOut banners

The Maldives Journal has learned that the Government of India had given President Ibrahim Mohamed Salih a 12-hour deadline to remove all “India Out” banners.
A President’s Office official spoke to TMJ on the condition of anonymity.
The official reported that Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives Munu Mahawar on Wednesday had called President Salih and traded harsh words on the matter.
“President did not have a choice. The High Commissioner ordered the removal of all "India Out" banners within a 12-hour period. [The President] said it can only be done through legal means, to which [the High Commissioner] said to take any measures necessary but to get it done,” the official said.
When directed by the High Commissioner, President Salih had given the orders to Maldives Police Service (MPS). This resulted in the notice issued to H. Hurafa, location of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) headquarters, and the subsequent raids on the headquarters and the residence of opposition leader President Abdullah Yameen.
“The Government were well aware that even if Police had ordered the removal, it would not be done so. To address that they had begun preparing the Presidential decree yesterday,” the official added.
When the notices were issued Wednesday evening, none of the banners were removed. MPS had to resort to a court warrant from Criminal Court to facilitate the removal. The warrant was issued after opening the Court at the early hours of Thursday morning – mere minutes after early morning prayers.
When questioned over the odd timing of the court order, the President’s Office official said that it was done so, as President Salih did not wish to ‘risk missing the deadline’.
“The President did not wish to risk missing the deadline. He did not want to risk that,” he said.
This is not the first time the current administration had attempted to subvert the India Out movement. Previously, there were severe crackdowns on protesters, on orders from the Indian Government.
When questioned, President’s Office Spokesperson Mabrook Azeez had refused to issue any comments.