On Tuesday evening, Maldives Supreme Court revoked its order to release 9 high-profile political prisoners which prompted President Abdulla Yameen to impose a state of emergency in the island nation and two top judges were arrested. Later, the exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed sought India’s intervention to solve the political crisis.
Here’s what the exiled President tweeted to seek help from India and US:
On behalf of Maldivian people we humbly request:
1. India to send envoy, backed by its military, to release judges & pol. detainees inc. Prez. Gayoom. We request a physical presence.
2. The US to stop all financial transactions of Maldives regime leaders going through US banks.
— Mohamed Nasheed (@MohamedNasheed) February 6, 2018
Now reports suggest that Indian armed forces are kept on standby for any contingency, pending political directive. The armed forces are closely monitoring the neighborhood and are “prepared for any eventuality” and “development art short notice”. They may be required to either evacuate Indian tourists or conduct a military intervention.
Apart from this, the Indian Navy which maintains warships on patrol of the seaboard may be diverted to the Maldives if the need arises. India is also helping out the island to establish coastal surveillance radar system stations.
Indian Air Force
Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force has rugged the C-130J “Super Hercules” and C-17 Globemaster-III. This can be used to airlift combat-ready troops and heavy uploads and can be landed on small runways. The C-17 can cover 4,200 kms in a single trip while carrying loads of 70 tonnes.
The current political crisis going on in the Maldives started a week ago when the island’s ruling government ignored the Supreme Court directive to release ‘political prisoners’ of the opposition fearing that the ruling party would lose a majority in the government.
The present President Abdulla Yameen didn’t comply with the SC directive and when protests erupted, he declared a 15-day emergency and arrested the Chief Justice and a Supreme Court Judge. Concerns were expressed across the world and then President Yameen came out with a lengthy explanation and justified the emergency.
Meanwhile, the exiled President Mohamed Nasheed, one of the convicts, has asked for India’s help in the crisis. He is currently in Columbo and was expected to return and run for the President after the SC verdict. The Maldives police have arrested two judges and have also detained President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom after which the analysts predicted that his arrest could split the security forces.