JUST IN: PPM official arrested in connection with Yoga Day violence

Mohamed Ismail pictured, was arrested in connection with Yoga Day violence | Photo: Mihaaru

Malé, Maldives – Council Member of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and active participant of the party’s activity committee, Mohamed Ismail has been arrested in connection with the recent Yoga Day violence in Malé.

Along with Ismail, was arrested PPM activist Ali Naseem (Thakaney), both who were previously arrested for leading anti-India activities dubbed “India Out”.

Among the violence that took place during international Yoga Day event held yesterday jointly by the Ministry of Youth and Indian High Commission’s Cultural Centre at the National Stadium, saw protesters swinging flags printed with Islamic Shahada on a white canvass and shouting “Allah Akbar”. In a video widely circulated from the event, participants are seen fleeing from the scene while angry protesters destroyed property, threatened and harmed participants.

Reports suggest that the event was attended by top government officials, ambassadors to the Maldives and UN diplomats.

Since then, Maldives Police Service has issued a statement stating that PPM is responsible for providing and sending protesters to the event, after pictures of flags used by protesters being taken out from the party’s office at 05:00 in the morning got circulated on social media.

While the Serious and Organised Crime department of Police is investigating the attack, probing the possibility of political machinations, the public continues to raise criticise the authority as they failed to stop the attack planned using social media hashtags #StandAgainstYOGA and #No2YOGA.

Ismail and Naseem’s arrests comes at a time when PPM has condemned the very same attack and despite Ismail along with a couple of other individuals being photographed in the party’s office holding the flags used by protesters.

Speaking to local news “Adhadhu” Secretary General Mohamed Tholal stated that the political party has a tradition of providing paraphernalia to the public in times of need. However, he condemned yesterday’s attack and did not confirm whether the party provided the flags used yesterday to storm the Yoga Day event.