President Solih: Those who stormed yoga event will be brought before law

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih speaks to press. (Photo/President's Office)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that those who stormed Galolhu National Stadium on Tuesday morning, obstructing activities underway at the stadium to mark the International Day of Yoga, will be brought before the law.

Via a tweet, President Solih said that Maldives Police Service has launched an investigation into the incident at Galolhu National Stadium this morning, which is being treated as a matter of serious concern.

He stressed that those responsible will be swiftly brought before the law.

The ‘Yoga Day’ event was hosted by Youth Ministry in collaboration with Indian Cultural Centre.

Ambassador of India to the Maldives Munu Mahawar, diplomats and senior officials from the Maldivian government alongside members of the general public were doing yoga at Galolhu National Stadium when the premise was stormed.

The group which stormed the stadium were carrying flags containing verses from the Shahada. They threatened, attacked the participants and vandalized the property.

When the group first stormed the stadium – only a few police officers were maintaining security on the premise. They had used pepper spray to subdue the group.

A Police Spokesperson told Sun that six individuals have been arrested over the case – which is being investigated as a serious matter. No further details were disclosed.

Expressing concern over the incident – Youth Minister Ahmed Mahloof said that the event was obstructed for political reasons.

In this regard, Minister Mahloof said that ‘Yoga Day’ has been celebrated in the Maldives since 2014 – with major public events being held to mark the day during Yameen’s administration as well. He added that there is no reason for something that was not ‘haram’ back then to become ‘haram’ now. He also stressed that yoga was not a religious activity.