MALDIVES … Former vice president Ahmed Adeeb arrives in India incognito

Ahmed Adeeb … in Tuticorin port


CHENNAI: A top Maldivian politician, Ahmed Adeeb, has been detained in Tuticorin port Thursday as he tried to enter the country incognito. He was vice president of Maldives in the latter half of 2015. He came in posing as a crew member of a cargo ship, Virgo 9. The ship was returning to the Indian port after unloading a load of gravel in the island nation.

It is reported that the Indian authorities got to know about the presence of Adeeb in the ship after the vessel’s owner passed on the information to police.

Whether the attempt by 37-year-old Adeeb to enter India had any political purpose was not immediately known. He had been removed from office by the People’s Majlis. At one time, he had been sentenced to 10 years on terrorism charge, after he carried with him a gun at an anti-government rally. He had also been framed in a September 2015 bomb attack targeting a speed boat carrying then president Abdulla Yameen.

Reports said his conviction in 2016 had been quashed in May this year. Weeks later, he arrived in Pune through normal channels for treatment of an eye problem. Western-educated Adeeb hails from a rich family in the Maldives.

Maldives is an island archipelago inhabited by Sunni Muslim population comprising nearly 3,50,000 people. Adeep was a confidant of ex president Mohamed Nasheed, who, amid political turmoil back home, had later been granted asylum in the UK.

Lots of Maldivians arrive in southern Indian cities through normal channels on a daily basis, for shopping, relaxation, educational and health purposes etc. A former Maldives president was a frequent visitor to Kerala state capital, Thiruvananthapuram and so are thousands of Maldivians on study and hospital purposes, who stay on resident visa.

Indian authorities are in touch with the government in Maldives to take advice on how to handle Adeeb here. He might or might not be arrested. India is having good relations with Maldives now, under the leadership of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. IHN-NN


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