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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

World

Nasheed seeks shelter in Indian mission in Male
Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 13, 2013
First Published: 15:01 IST(13/2/2013)
Last Updated: 01:02 IST(14/2/2013)

To evade arrest, former president of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed sought refuge in the Indian High Commission in Male on Wednesday, putting India in a spot.

Soon after, the external affairs ministry issued a statement in New Delhi saying that as a "friendly neighbour" India was concerned about the political instability in the region and urged the Maldivian government and political parties to adhere to democratic principles to ensure fair presidential polls in September.

"We are in touch with the relevant Maldivian authorities to resolve the situation," said the spokesperson in the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi.

Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj also spoke to National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon on the issue.

Nasheed, Maldives's first democratically elected leader, was removed from office in contested circumstances last February.

On Wednesday, when police tried to arrest the 45-year-old leader for missing a court appearance in a case related to the illegal detention of a judge, Nasheed tweeted, "Mindful of my own security and stability in the Indian Ocean, I have taken refuge at the Indian High Commission in Maldives."

Later in the day, as his application for stay on the arrest was rejected by the Maldivian High Court, Nasheed stayed put in the Indian mission.

Meanwhile, police barricaded the street outside the high commission, as Nasheed's supporters began to gather in protest.

Maldivian president's official spokesperson, Imad Massod, however, said, "The police are waiting for him to come out. They will not enter the high commission premises."


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