Maldivian MP denied entry into India: MEA says it is ascertaining details
Amid reports that a Maldivian MP was denied entry into India, the External Affairs Ministry said it was trying to ascertain details of the incident.
Ahmed Nihan from the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives said he had travelled to Chennai on Monday for medical reasons but was refused entry after enquiries about his diplomatic passport.
“This is bullying,” Nihan was quoted as saying by the Maldives Times.
“If this is the implementation of a policy by neighbouring India, it does not make any sense,” he said.
Responding to a question about the MP being denied entry, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “He was stopped at immigration when he came to Chennai.”
“This happened on the night of June 4. We are trying to find out how this happened. We will share information when we have it,” Kumar said.
Asked about reports that the Maldives government has decided to return two search-and-rescue helicopters gifted by India, Kumar said India’s defence ties with that country were very strong and it was in touch with Maldivian authorities over the issue.
Relations between India and the Maldives have come under strain in recent years, mostly over China’s influence in the Maldives and also over a controversial 45-day state of emergency and jailing of Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected leader of the country.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had said last month that though ties with Maldives might have seen ups and downs, they were “not broken and cannot be broken”.