VIDEO: Mob Chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ Disrupts India-Maldives Joint Yoga Day Event in Male
© Photo : Twitter/ @MaldivesJournalDozens of people chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Great) and ‘Shahadat’ have disrupted the International Yoga Day event at the Maldives national football stadium in Male on June 21, 2022, accusing India of promoting Hindu culture among Muslims.
President Ibrahim Solih, widely seen as pro-India, condemned the “derogatory remarks" made by some officials of India’s ruling BJP, insulting the Prophet Muhammed earlier this month. Since 2020, the Maldives has witnessed a series of protests against the Maldivian government’s close security and economic partnerships with India.
Dozens of people chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Great) and ‘Shahadat’ have disrupted the International Yoga Day event at the Maldives national football stadium in Male on Tuesday morning, accusing India of promoting Hindu culture among Muslims.
The event was part of the International Yoga Day and organized by the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment in association with the Indian Culture Centre at the Galolhu National Stadium at 6.30 a.m.
The dramatic video on social media showed dozens of people breaking the barricades put up at the stadium gates by the Maldivian police, asking the diplomats and government officials to leave the venue immediately.
Police reportedly used tear gas shell to control the situation.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has ordered the state police to launch an investigation.
“This is being treated as a matter of serious concern and those responsible will be swiftly brought before the law,” Solih said.
Religious scholars and the general public had urged the Maldivian government not to hold the yoga day event, pointing to it as the worship of Hinduism.
“It is not directly linked to the India campaign. Yesterday, a group of people said they would protest outside the stadium where the event was held. They had asked the government not to hold an act that is part of Hindu culture,” Ahmed Azaan, a Male-based journalist and co-founder of Dhiyares.com, told Sputnik.
People are concerned over deepening military ties between Male and New Delhi since Ibrahim Solih took charge in 2018, defeating Abdulla Yameen, believed to be a pro-China leader, in the presidential election.
Since 2020, the archipelagic nation has seen a campaign called ‘India Out’ against the Solih government’s close security and economic partnerships with India.
The Maldivian government banned the ‘India Out’ protests in February and criminalized them in April.
Ibrahim Solih also drew ire for not condemning the remarks made by India’s ruling BJP spokespersons against Prophet Mohammad.