Opposition questions lack of immediate arrest after police officers spat on

Combined photos of two police officers who were spat at during a protest staged by the opposition PPM-PNC coalition on July 28, 2020. (Photo/Mohamed Hameed, Commissioner of Police)

Opposition PPM-PNC coalition, on Wednesday, questioned why the police did not arrest a participant of one of its protests in Male’ said to have spat on two police officers, on the spot.

In a press conference on Wednesday evening, PNC deputy leader Ibrahim Shujau said the police had “hinted” that “something” would happen, even before the opposition began its protest on Tuesday night.

“The police gave a prior hint to our deputy leader Ahmed Shiyam , that the police know that something’s going to happen,” he said.

PNC deputy leader Ibrahim Shujau. (File Photo/Sun/Ahmed Aushan Ilyas)

Shujau described it as pre-planned incident.

“Will the police stand by without making an arrest when a member of the general public stands in front of a police officer and spits on him? This must be given some thought when the Commissioner of Police tweeted it. Why would a citizen not be arrested when he spat on a police officer? A police officer was spat on. But there wasn’t an arrest at the scene,” he said.

PPM deputy leader and Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam said that from what the party found following its own investigation, the police officers looked to have been spat on from above.

“It wasn’t from one direction. It was all over the police officers. We believe, what we found from our analysis, is that it wasn’t from the front or from any side, but from above,” he said.

PPM deputy leader Ahmed Shiyam during the protest held by opposition PPM-PNC coalition in Male' City on July 28, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Shiyam alleged that the police had prior knowledge of the attack before the protest began, and therefore knew the culprits.

“You conduct further investigation and dive deeper into the information from the source of the information. You investigate this and mete out appropriate punishment to the culprit of this filthy act,” he said.

The some 150-200 protesters who took part in Tuesday’s protest were led by opposition parliamentarians, former parliamentarians, and political appointees during the previous administration.

Opposition PPM-PNC coalition holds a protest in Male' City on July 28, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

They demanded the release of former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdl Gayoom, the opposition leader, who has been convicted for money laundering, and demanded the resignation of senior officials of the current administration.