Emergency motion demands govt action in storming of fishing boats

Screen grab from video footage of Indian Coast Guard boarding Maldivian fishing boats on January 31, 2024.

An emergency motion was submitted to the Parliament on Monday accusing the government of failure to treat the storming of Maldivian fishing boats by Indian soldiers with the seriousness it deserves, and demanding stronger action.

The motion was presented by Ungoofaaru MP Mohamed Waheed at the sitting on Wednesday afternoon.

The motion was accepted for consideration with a unanimous vote of 54.

In his motion, Wadde accused state institutions responsible for ensuring the protection and safety of Maldives’ territory and its people of failure to disseminate clear information about the situation, creating panic and fear.

He also accused the government of failure to effectively address the issue – which he said constitutes to the government dodging its legal responsibilities.

He called on the government for action in response to the incidents.

Three local fishing boats were stopped and boarded by armed officers from the Indian Coast Guard on December 31, while fishing inside the Maldives’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

According to the sailors on Asurumaa-3, Maahoara-3 and Neru-7 – the soldiers demanded the boats’ satellite phone numbers. Soldiers from another Indian Coast Guard ship stormed Maahoara-3 again on February 1.

In a statement on Friday in response to the initial incident, the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) confirmed that the three boats had been inside Maldives’ maritime boundary when it was boarded.

The military said it was able to establish that the boats were stormed by boarding teams from India Coast Guard Ship 246 and India Coast Guard Ship 253.

The MNDF said the operation was conducted without coordination with Maldivian authorities and in violation of international maritime laws and regulations.

Maldives has demanded India for an explanation regarding the incident.