Police dismantle political party hangouts in central island

Police dismantle political party hangouts in central island
May 11 12:55 2016

Police dismantled political party jagahas or hangouts on the island of Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaalu Atoll on the home ministry’s orders.

Umar Naseer, the home minister, said the hangouts were built on public spaces.

The Kudahuvadhoo island council said the Local Government Authority, chaired by Naseer, had ordered the council to take back public spaces used for political party activities.

Both the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives and the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s hangouts on the harbour front were dismantled.

“They had set up structures there without permission,” said Mohamed Zameer, the president of the Kudahuvadhoo council.

Zameer said both parties had been given a period of 30 days last month to vacate the premises. The island powerhouse had cut off electricity after the period expired. The council had publicly announced that it would not be responsible for damages to property, he added.

Shaathiru Abdul Rahman, an MDP official on Kudahuavdhoo, said the move was aimed at restricting political activism, and said he believed the police should have obtained a court order before dismantling private property.

“The government is doing everything it can to stop political activities once and for all,” he said.

A police spokesman said a court warrant was not required as both parties were encroaching on public land.

Zameer said parties would still be able to use other spaces for rallies.

“We just do not want political activities at the harbour area when there is going to be an airport in operation in the island,” he said.

The kudahuvadhoo airport is expected to be completed by October.