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India rules out military intervention in Maldives

New Delhi , Fri, 10 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Feb 10 (ANI): Terming the political crisis in The Maldives as its internal matter, the Indian Government on Friday ruled out intervening militarily to normalize the situation in the Indian Ocean archipelago.


It, however, sent Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs M. Ganapathy, to meet with United Nations officials and assess the situation in the wake of the prevailing political unrest aggravated by the 'forced' resignation of President Mohamed Nasheed earlier this week.


Nasheed, who resigned on Tuesday after opposition protests boiled over with a police mutiny, has been widely credited with ushering in full democracy in The Maldives with a 2008 election win over former long-term serving president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, whose 30-year rule was seen as autocratic.


The protests started in big way after Nasheed ordered the arrest of Criminal Court Chief Justice Abdulla Mohamed on January 15, while accusing him of supporting Gayoom.


"No military option has been sought. We have our contingency plans and as of now there is no need for it. We are next door neighbours of Maldives and working with them according to their requirements," said an Indian official on condition of anonymity.


"Indian High Commissioner in Male is in constant touch with Nasheed and President Waheed and has offered all assistance to the former, as a transition has taken place in the country as per the Constitution of The Maldives," the official said.


He further said that India wants normalcy to return to Male at the earliest and is in direct consultation with the United States, the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka.


India's special envoy Ganapathy held talks with all Maldivian political groups, including with Nasheed and President Mohamed Waheed Hassan in a bid to end the political stalemate in the island nation.


The crisis in The Maldives deepened after Nasheed announced his resignation after months of protests and amidst declining support from the police and the army. But on Wednesday, Nasheed claimed that he had actually been forced from power 'almost' at the gunpoint.


The situation still remains unclear.


President Waheed has also appealed for calm and in order to normalize the situation, he has made no move to arrest Nasheed, who is living in his home in Male.


Waheed also denied claims of a plot to oust Nasheed, and called for a unity coalition to be formed to help the country.


Nasheed, however, is calling for early elections, and insisting that his party would emerge victorious if polls are held. He also said that he would approach the Supreme Court for justice.


UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco has also met with Nasheed and Hassan, besides other top political leaders of The Maldives. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)


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