Cabinet forms subcommittee to probe mob attack on Yoga Day event

Cabinet convenes for a meeting on June 21, 2022. (Photo/President's Office)

Maldives’ Cabinet has formed a subcommittee to investigate the mob attack on the International Day of Yoga event held at the national football stadium on Tuesday morning.

The event, organized by the Indian Cultural Center and the Sports Ministry, had begun at 06:30 am on Tuesday, and was attended by some 150 participants, including foreign ambassadors and diplomats.

A mob of angry protestors had stormed the stadium, and threatened and assaulted some of the participants, and destroyed property.

Six suspects were arrested in connection to the incident.

The Cabinet convened for a meeting on Tuesday afternoon, during which it condemned the incident, and formed a subcommittee to conduct an investigation into the incident.

The members of the subcommittee are:

  • Ibrahim Riffath, Attorney General
  • Mohamed Aslam, Minister of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure
  • Dr. Aishath Ali, Minister of Education
  • Yumna Maumoon, Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage
  • Dr. Ahmed Zahir, Minister of Islamic Affairs
  • Ahmed Mahloof, Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment
  • Aishath Mohamed Didi, Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services

The mob attack on the yoga event is under investigation by the Serious and Organized Department.

Police said in an earlier statement the case was being investigated as a serious matter, and that preliminary investigative findings established that some of the items used by the mob had come from the office of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

PPM’s Secretary-General Mohamed Tholal told Sun said the flags used by rioters were similar to the ones used by PPM in a recent rally, but that it yet remained unclear whether they were the same flags.

“It’s possible those were our flags. I am unable to say for sure yet whether those were our flags,” he said.

Tholal said the mob attack had not been organized by PPM and that the party did not condone violence.

In a press conference held in response to the incident, People’s National Congress (PNC)’s leader Abdul Raheem Abdulla (Adhurey) said the mob attack could be claimed to have been staged by the government to cast blame on PNC’s coalition partner PPM. He also accused the police of involvement in the incident.

Meanwhile, Elections Commission has issued a statement warning any political party found to have been involved in the mob attack would be penalized.