A reliable source has reported that the focus of the team from Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of India is to seek and frame journalists and opposition activists.
The CBI team is in Maldives to assist in the investigation launched into the leaked sex tapes involving high-profile figures associated with the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
The source, a senior figure at MDNF, said the CBI team is seeking to level significant criminal allegations against journalists and opposition social media activists.
CBI is a wing of India’s Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and is the premier investigating agency. The agency investigates several economic crimes, special crimes, cases of corruption and other cases. The team came to Maldives after the High Commissioner of India to the Maldives Munu Mahawar requested for assistance in the leaked tapes case.
Reports of CBI team’s target has been confirmed from several sources. TMJ’s sister paper, Dhiyares, had alerted international rights groups. Indian journalists and activists are routinely framed by the country’s authorities. Independent investigations have confirmed Indian authorities leading such smear campaigns.
This revelation came at a time when Police in India have arrested the co-founder of a fact-checking website who has been a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government. Mohammed Zubair of AltNews was arrested on Monday.
He had recently highlighted comments by a spokesperson of the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad during a television debate. His tweet was widely shared and led to several Muslim countries lodging strong protests with India.
Indian authorities have also used the controversial Pegasus software to spy on dissenters.
The Government of Maldives has been routinely chastised by India for the slow response in taking action on anti-BJP sentiments.