Samad’s whereabouts unknown after being taken into custody by Indian Immigration: PPM

PPM Hulhumalé Constituency President Abdul Samad (Samadbe). | Photo: PPM

Malé, Maldives – The opposition PPM/PNC coalition has called on the government to trace the whereabouts of PPM Hulhumalé Constituency President Abdul Samad (Samadbe) who went missing after being taken into custody by Indian Immigration.

Abdul Samad, who went to India last Friday, was arrested by Indian immigration yesterday while he was inside Manipal Hospital in Bangalore with his family, the opposition said yesterday.

The party alleges that Abdul Samad was arrested because he is an active member of the opposition’s ‘India Out’ movement.

Foreign Ministry Communications Director Safaath Ahmed Zahir told the media today that further clarifications are being sought through the Indian authorities.

The Foreign Ministry told the media this afternoon saying only that it was seeking further clarifications on the case through the Indian authorities after receiving information that a Maldivian in Bangalore had been taken into custody by its immigration officers yesterday.

The ministry has not yet provided any information to the media on the matter.

Senior PPM activist Abdul Samad was detained by Indian immigration while traveling with his family to Bangalore for medical treatment. The family and the party do not know what happened to him afterwards.

The opposition party said a video posted on Abdul Samad’s Facebook page earlier yesterday showed him being summoned to the Indian Immigration Department for a passport issue. Abdul Samad’s close friends had informed him that he will be sent back to Maldives on a flight from India yesterday afternoon, but he was not.

The party said it believed Abdul Samad was taken into custody by the Immigration Department as part of the Indian government’s “inhuman” action against various protesters calling for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from Maldives.

“It is very clear that Maldives and Maldivian people are under Indian slavery today. Therefore, this coalition strongly condemns this and calls on the Indian government to release Abdul Samad immediately,” the statement said.

The opposition coalition has called on the government to find out where Abdul Samad is, ensure his safety, share information about him with his family and provide necessary assistance to his family in India.

The coalition has also sent a letter to the Foreign Ministry, the Gender Ministry and the Human Rights Commission regarding the matter.