Maldives Police Service (MPS) has begun a witch hunt into the youth-led protest held in Male’ City, to denounce the slanderous remarks against Prophet Mohamed made by senior figures at India’s ruling Baharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The rally, carried out on motorcycles, was attended by hundreds.
Following this massive rally, MPS has begun compiling footage from CCTV, social media photos and videos, and material collected by intelligence officers who took part in the protest. The footage is used to identify youth and list them in an extremist watch list, maintained by the agency.
A senior officer of MPS had confirmed this to TMJ, on the condition of anonymity. The officer reported that Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamed Riyaz is heading this initiative, reporting directly to Home Minister Imran Abdullah.
Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed is known to spout anti-Islamic rhetoric. In a conference in India, the Commissioner had listed condemnation of slander on the Prophet and criticizing ill-treatment of Muslims globally, as a reason why individuals are radicalized.
As of now, there are 1,400 individuals in the Police’s extremist watch list. CP Hameed had also said that these individuals were being closely monitored.
Report on National Security Council
The officer also reported that in addition to placing the youth on a watch list, an assessment report is also being compiled to be submitted to the National Security Council.
The report also had to identify the leaders, information on key individuals, and identify if any party had funded the protest.
While the Police is leading a witch hunt, public has criticized Police for failing to take action on the slander perpetrated against the Prophet on social media from various anonymous troll accounts.
Police media official did not issue a comment when queried over the news.