Nasheed wants foreign body to probe his ouster

Male: Maldives` former president Mohamed Nasheed wants a foreign body to probe the circumstances of the "coup" that ousted him last month and plunged the country into political crisis.

Nasheed told at a news conference here last night that his Maldivian Democratic Party is considering requesting a "foreign organisation" to look into the incidents of February 7 impartially. However, he did not elaborate over which foreign body his party wanted to approach.

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) is already looking into the matter, and has suspended Maldives` membership till the probe is completed. The present government too is looking into the issues related to the political unrest that toppled Nasheed`s regime.

Nasheed also said that on February 7, the day he resigned, "there was a moment when some businessmen spoke about him to be tortured, beaten or murdered".

Nasheed, Maldives` first democratically-elected president, had said he was forced to resign as gun-wielding military men threatened that they would resort to using arms if he did not. However, the government denies Nasheed`s allegation of a coup. Meanwhile, President Mohamed Waheed has sent letters to political parties who are participating in the all-party talks, asking them to resume the process.

The talks were in shambles after several political parties withdrew their representatives in protest after MDP lawmakers created chaos in the parliament and prevented the new President from delivering an opening address. The talks have also been temporarily suspended as the co-ordinator is on a private visit abroad.

There has been incessant unrest in Maldives` over the last month, with supporters of Nasheed protesting time and again demanding early elections. Some MDP supporters assembled outside the President`s Office this morning to protest and the security forces used force to push them back.

Police also said last night that they had arrested some unruly protesters who violated traffic lights and threatened security officers with knives at a police station where they also damaged some property.

Media Official of the Maldives Police Service, Sub Inspector Ahmed Shiyam, told PTI that some 13 people were arrested on Tuesday night.