A police officer who was stabbed during an operation to stop drug smuggling into the Maafushi prison underwent surgery on Sunday at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Malé.
Constable Ali Razzan, 19, was stabbed in the chest near his left shoulder when he confronted a man who jumped off a speedboat that was intercepted by a police vessel and tried to run ashore onto the island.
According to the police, the operation was carried out jointly by the Maldives Correctional Service and police officers from the Maafushi station.
Razzan was rushed to the Maafushi health centre after the stabbing and was later transferred to IGMH. After undergoing surgery, the injured policeman was transferred to the hospital’s ward.
However, Razzan was taken in for a second surgery of his lungs after doctors learned of a possible complication, police tweeted.
His condition is now reportedly stable.
Police Commissioner Ahmed Areef, Defense Minister Adam Shareef and Home Minister Azleen Ahmed meanwhile visited the injured officer at the hospital on Saturday.
In an official statement, the police chief hailed Razzan’s bravery and strong character.
“I wholeheartedly praise the determination Police Constable Ali Razzan’s has shown in facing arms during the dark hours of midnight. I am proud of the example you have set as a 19-year-old young man, and especially as a Maldivian policeman,” he said.
Areef said policemen have been attacked before when the country “became politically unstable and when [people] started calling to attack policemen,” referring to the fatal stabbing of Sergeant Adam Haleem in July 2012 on the island of Kaashidhoo.
“That was also a time when media and other means were used to throw mockery and words of hatred aimed at police officers and the police institution,” Areef said.
“These are days with a similar wave in Maldives. Instead of thanking policemen for fulfilling their constitutional duty of protecting people’s homes, property and lives, dangerous and ruthless actions are being committed against individual police officers with the intention of furthering political interests.”
The police meanwhile revealed that the suspect who stabbed the officer was Azhar Ibrahim, a 32-year-old man with a criminal record.
Azhar, who was arrested from the crime scene, has since been remanded for the duration of his coming trial.
Two other men and a minor on the speedboat were also taken into custody during the operation.
The criminal court remanded the two men, a 51-year-old and a 32-year-old, to police custody for 10 days. One of the men was the captain of the speed boat, police said.
The juvenile court, however, released the minor. According to local media, he told the court that he was a crew member and was unacquainted with the other men.
The court decided that that police failed to present enough evidence to link the minor to the crime despite insisting that he might tamper with evidence and posed a threat to society.
Two nylon sacks full of packets sealed with insulation tape were meanwhile seized from the speedboat.
The contraband was mostly electronic devices intended for the use of inmates at the high-security Maafushi prison, including 27 smart phones and 78 burner phones, 103 phone chargers, 22 headsets, nine phone batteries, four normal batteries, one power bank, one watch, one router, four packets of yeast, one bottle of diesel, and three packets of henna.