Male’ Deputy Mayor Nareesh amongst those arrested in opposition rally

Male’ City Deputy Mayor Ahmed Nareesh being arrested at opposition coalition's 'Neyva Holhiah' mass rally on March 25, 2022. (Photo/Heena Waleed)

Male’ City Deputy Mayor Ahmed Nareesh has been arrested prior to the kick-off of the opposition coalition’s mass rally in Male’ City, ‘Neyva Holhiah’.

The opposition coalition, composed of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC), are holding the mass rally despite warnings by the police against holding it.  

PPM’s Spokesperson Heena Waleed confirmed to Sun that Deputy Mayor Nareesh was arrested from the road, before the rally officially kicked off.

It has been reported that many civilians participating in the rally have also been arrested. However, the total number of arrests made remains unclear at the moment.

‘Neyva Holhiah’ is a mass rally presently being held at Male’ City, as part of activities of the ‘India Out’ campaign spearheaded by opposition leader, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom. The purpose of ‘India Out’ campaign is to urge the removal of Indian military personnel stationed in the Maldives.

The police, in a statement on Wednesday evening, warned they will not allow for the rally to be held, citing that there were multiple reasons to believe the opposition isn’t planning to hold the rally under Freedom of Assembly Act.

Police warned they will dismantle the rally and take action against protestors.

Starting from 2:00pm this afternoon, Police had cordoned off the area in which PPM’s headquarters are located.