India is disturbed over emergency in Maldives: MEA

Opposition supporters outside the Supreme Court in Male after Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency

Opposition supporters outside the Supreme Court in Male after Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency

In the last few days, the political crisis in Maldives has worsened with president Abdulla Yameen declaring a state of emergency in the country for 15 days.

Nasheed, 50, who lives in self-exile in Britain, also requested the USA "to stop all financial transactions of Maldives regime leaders going through United States banks".

Police said that they have arrested Chief Justice Saeed and Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed in an ongoing investigation.

The Supreme Court has argued otherwise, saying "there are no obstacles in implementing the ruling and that this has been informed to the Prosecutor General's office".

Their charges have not been made public and on Tuesday morning their whereabouts were unknown.

The Maldives on Tuesday sought to reassure tourists they would be safe as governments warned their citizens to steer clear of the troubled honeymoon islands amid a spiralling political crisis.

"This is something more unsafe", President Yameen Abdul Gayoom said on national television.

The main political rival to the president of the Maldives has called on India to send an envoy - backed by its military - to free imprisoned Supreme Court justices and opposition leaders, as political turmoil battered the Indian Ocean nation.

"President Yameen has illegally declared martial law and overrun the state".

President Yameen has accused judges of plotting to overthrow him and said the emergency is to investigate this plot. Hours earlier police had arrested former president and opposition leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom - Yameen's estranged half-brother - at his home in the city, says Time magazine. "The world is watching", the US National Security Council said in a Twitter post.

He further said two out of three Member of Parliament (MPs), who were in exile, were arrested today upon their arrival at the airport here today.

He also said that releasing the incarcerated politicians would "raise concerns over national security".

While there was no immediate sign of India preparing to send troops to the Maldives, New Delhi does have a history of military involvement there.

He ruled the Maldives autocratically for 30 years, until the country's first democratic elections in 2008, in which Nasheed won power. Nasheed has been living in exile in Britain since 2016 after being given asylum when he traveled there on medical leave from prison. His son-in-law Mohamed Nadheem was also arrested.

Since Mr Yameen took control of the overwhelmingly Muslim country of 400,000 people in 2013, his government has faced heavy criticism over the detention of opponents, political influence over the judiciary and the lack of freedom of speech.

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