Maldivians seek asylum, Nasheed aide says move to ridicule India

Mohamed Nasheed

While talks were on between the foreign ministers of India and Maldives to resolve the crisis that has arisen after former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed sought refuge with the Indian High Commission in Male, a group of Maldivians sought asylum in India.

"A group of people turned up at the Indian High Commission seeking asylum. They are suspected to be sent by the government. This is a move by the government to ridicule the Indian gesture," Hameed Abdul Ghafoor, Nasheed's close aide and party spokesperson told The Indian Express.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said he spoke to his Maldivian counterpart over phone. "I have had a long conversation... We discussed in detail the situation as it stands today. We are in the process, we are continuing our conversation. We are working in the background. I hope we can come to a resolution of the present situation which is to the satisfaction of everybody. But it is still an ongoing process," he said.

On Thursday, Nasheed, who has been accommodated by the Indian office since February 13, met his senior party leaders and legal team. "The Indian envoy D M Mulay has been extremely generous towards Nasheed. His personal effects have also been sent to the High Commission," Ghafoor said.

He took refuge with the Indian office there to evade an arrest warrant issued by a local court in a case related to the detention of the Chief Judge of the Criminal Court in January 2012 when he was president. India has decided that Nasheed can stay in the High Commission as long as he wants.

Nasheed, meanwhile, has demanded that President Mohammed Waheed must quit.

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