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Let us arrest Nasheed, Maldives tells Indian High Commission

The Maldives government has asked the Indian High Commission in Male to let it arrest former President Mohamed Nasheed, who has taken shelter there for the last five days.

A court in capital Male wanted the government to produce him at its next hearing on Wednesday, reported Haveeru Online.

 Let us arrest Nasheed, Maldives tells Indian High Commission

Mohamed Nasheed. AP

Nasheed was about to be arrested last Wednesday, when he walked into the Indian High Commission. The government had ordered his arrest for the alleged abduction and illegal detension of the chief criminal judge of the country when he was the President of Maldives. On Sunday, the Court asked the government to produce Nasheed, to which it said that the former president was at the Indian High Commission and hence couldn't be arrested.

Subsequently, the external affairs ministry of Maldives requested the High Commisison to let them arrest him.

Haveeru said that the request was made after Indian foreign affairs minister Salman Khurshid "insisted" that "India had only extended the normal courtesies given to former heads of states". Reportedly, he also said that Nasheed's stay at the building cannot go on for ever.

The latest position of the Maldivian government contrasts with its earlier statement that Nasheed will not be arrested. Nasheed, his family and followers fear that if he comes out of the Indian High Commission, he will be arrested and will not be permitted to participate in the upcoming Presidential elections.

Before he assumed power, Nasheed had been in jail for various terms during the Ghayoom regime and was called the "prisoner of conscience" by Amnesty International.

The ruling dispensation apparently wants to ensure that Nasheed is out of the race for the President's job, meanwhile India and Western nations want the present government to step down and establish a care-taken dispensation to oversee a free and fair election.

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Updated Date: Feb 18, 2013 19:11:17 IST