The police have released 17 people taken into custody yesterday for “disrupting public order” in the wake of Vice President Ahmed Adeeb’s arrest.
A police spokesperson said the 17 individuals, including two minors, were arrested in different areas of Malé.
Adeeb was arrested on suspicion of links to an alleged bomb plot to assassinate President Abdulla Yameen.
His supporters planned to greet him at the official jetty near the Republic Square, but the police had cordoned off the restricted “green zone” area. The police and military also conducted a special operation to maintain peace and order in the capital.
A group of about 50 young men wearing T-shirts with the slogan “I stand with Adeeb” gathered behind police barricades near the Maldives Monetary Authority building. They later moved to the central junction near Seagull Café.
Several young men had their faces covered.
Photos circulating on social media show police arresting some individuals who were previously arrested for gang-related crimes.
According to newspaper Haveeru, all 17 individuals belong to a gang in Malé and some have criminal records for assault, theft and murder.
The vice president was arrested yesterday after he stepped off a flight from Singapore. He had returned from China after concluding an official visit.
Yameen escaped unhurt from the blast on the “Finifenma” speedboat on September 28, but First Lady Fathmath Ibrahim remains hospitalised with spine injuries.