The Cabinet of Ministers, has held deliberations on the findings of a cabinet subcommittee investigation into the riots at the National Stadium on June 21 which saw the disruption of activities to mark the International Day of Yoga.
The deliberations were held regarding the investigative report compiled regarding the riots, during a cabinet meeting at the President’s Office on Tuesday.
Cabinet members deliberated on the 39 recommendations in five areas proposed in the investigative report, relating to strengthening policies governing security operations, resolving religious disharmony, organizing and holding events, ensuring accountability of responsible parties as well as identifying and addressing threats to national security.
Following deliberations, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has instructed the relevant authorities to initiate and implement the recommendations made in the investigative report.
23 individuals had been arrested in connection with the riots at the National Stadium by August 5.
The Maldives Police Service (MPS) revealed that two more arrests were made on August 2 and 3, consecutively. The arrests were made under a court order, according to the police.
One of the suspects has been remanded by seven days, with the order being remanded in police custody for 30 days, upon being presented to the Criminal Court for their remand hearing.
Most recently arrested were a 29-year-old man and a 36-year-old man, in late July.
During a press briefing held in connection with the case, Head of the Criminal Investigation Command, Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamed Riyaz revealed that individuals have been circulating fabrications on social media linking the arrests to public opinions on yoga.
He asserted that the arrests are being made because the mob of protestors in question, had barged into a place where diplomats under state protection were carrying out yoga activities, threatened them, disrupted the activities, vandalized and damaged property and inflicted injuries on the participants.
Riyaz added that some of the arrested include those who had called on to use authority to halt the activity.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police went on to note that the group had been planning to disrupt the Yoga Day event since the night before the event and was scheming to obstruct it.
The police institution is presently working to find others linked to the case.
The case in being probed by the police Serious and Organized Crime Department as a “serious” case.
Initially arrested in connection with the case, on June 23, were Ahmed Ali, 26 and Mohamed Zeeshan Nasir, 30, both native to Malé City.
Further, police arrested Ibrahim Zihan, 25 and native of Velidhoo island of Noonu atoll, Ali Mirushad, 31 and native of Maalhos island of Alif Alif atoll, Mohamed Shan, 32 and native of Mundoo island in Laamu atoll, Abdulla Niyaz, 41 and native of Malé City, Ali Mohamed, 36 and native of Thimarafushi island in Thaa atoll, on June 24.
Seven more suspects were arrested a few days later.
The suspects are accused of disrupting the Yoga Day activities by locals and some foreign diplomats who took part in the event, spreading fear and inciting violence as well as vandalism.
All of the suspects have since been remanded upon being presented to the Criminal Court for their remand hearings.
The suspects arrested earlier include:
- Mohamed Nadheem, 43 native of Thulusdhoo island of Kaafu atoll
- Mohamed Zilyan, 37 native of Malé City
- Shaamy Rashad Idrees, 30 registered in Malé City
- Mohamed Mausoom, 40 native of Madifushi island of Thaa atoll
- Mohamed Hussain, 47 native of Thuraakunu island of Haa Alif atoll
- Ameen Ahmed, 35 native of Rathafandhoo island of Gaaf Dhaal atoll
- Mohamed Ismail, 48 and native of Hoarafushi island of Haa Alif atoll
- Ibrahim Razzan, 32 and native of Hithadhoo district of Addu City
- Adam Nishan, 38 and native of Maamendhoo island of Laamu atoll
- Ahmed Nasooh, 26 native of Maamendhoo island in Gaaf Alif atoll
- Abdulla Rifau, 31 native of Thimarafushi island of Thaa atoll
- Fazloon Mohamed, 33 and native of Milandhoo island of Shaviyani atoll.
The yoga event, organized by the Indian High Commission in Maldives, was joined by foreign diplomats, senior government officials as well as locals including children and elders. The event was disrupted by a group of individuals who stormed into the stadium and demanded to halt the event. Physical attacks were also reported alongside vandalism, which caused injuries to some of the participants.
MPS has since revealed that the supplies including flags were provided to the protestors by the opposition Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM). It has been revealed that the flags used in the riots were the same ones used at the political gathering held by the opposition party, at the carnival area. The sound system was also reported to have been provided by PPM. The opposition party has since issued a statement, noting that supplying the flags was “not an issue” by itself.
MPS has assured that the case will be probed as a serious case and that perpetrators will be brought before justice.
The yoga event riot has since made international headlines, while the government also strongly condemned the actions of the protestors. As such, President Solih in a Twitter post, said that the perpetrators will be brought before justice, “soon”.