The Government of India has ordered the Government of Maldives to dismiss Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdullah and State Minister at Ministry of Home Affairs Ali Nazeer.
The High Commissioner of India to the Maldives, Munu Mahawar, had met President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih following the disruption of Yoga Day activities in Male’. The event was held on June 21st, in spite of calls by concerned citizens not to hold the event.
The event kicked off at around 0630hrs. Protesters had gathered at the event location, protesting against the event. Some of the protesters had breached the area, bypassing the Police officers.
In the meeting, High Commissioner Mahawar had criticized Police failures and demanded for the dismissal of Minister Imran.
President Solih had presented an alternative of shifting Imran to another Ministry. This was rejected by Minister Imran. President Solih gave assurance that Minister Imran was aligned with the President and was not of “fundamentalist” views.
As an assurance of this, Sheikhs Fazloon and Nishan were arrested, as requested by India.
However, India had doubled down on their demands, after Dr Iyaz, one of Minister Imran’s close associates, had continued to tweet against yoga. Minister Imran had also sent an indirect tweet, when senior administration figures hinted at this.
Imran’s party, Adhaalath, had issued a statement on the permissibility of yoga for Muslims. This appeared to be the last straw for the Indians. Sources report that Indian External Affairs Minister Jaishankar had personally phoned in and demanded the dismissal of Imran and Ali Nazeer.
“India views any sentiment against yoga events as an attack on India itself. Adhaalath Party’s statement was a justification of this. Indian government is quite upset over this,” the official reported to Dhiyares.
The official reported that Parliament Speaker former President Mohamed Nasheed is leading the charge to depict Imran as a ring leader of the issue. The source said that Nasheed had called senior Indian Government officials to paint such a picture.
“Adhaalath’s fatwa came at this point. Then what is the President supposed to say to them?” he said.
In spite of the attempts to dismiss Imran, the Government is yet to make a statement on it.