SO Police to require Commissioner's consent for ops

PNF members outside Ghiyasuddin International School; the members were denied entry to the school to hold its inaugural congress on Tuesday evening -- Sun Photo

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has ordered to amend the regulations related to Specialist Operations (SO) Police, requiring them to seek permission from the Commissioner of Police before running their operations.

President Muizzu made the demand following the intervention by SO Police on People's National Front (PNF)'s inaugural congress on Tuesday evening, scheduled to take place at Ghiyasuddin International School, and after he was provided with the investigation report on the incident.

Ministry of Homeland Security on Wednesday evening issued a statement confirming the SO Police's operationa review was handed over to the president following Tuesday's PNF-related debacle, after which President Muizzu demanded, through the ministry to Maldives Police Force, for immediate rectification to the division's protocols.

The measures of rectification include;

  • Reviewal of the circumstances where SO Police involvement are required, and acquire permission from the Commissioner of Police prior to involvement
  • Restructuring the operational command and control of Police and resolve the current setbacks
  • The Professional Standards Command of the Police is required to investigate SO Police intervention on PNF's inaugural congress and take legal action against any culpable party
  • Reviewal of information dissemination to the media regarding operations ensuring more transparency to provide greater insight to the public
  • Use of Force Committee is required to assess the conduct of SO Police and their use of force in intervening PNF's congress to take necessary action

After PNF top brass and general members reached the initial venue, SO Police intervened their access by locking Ghiyasuddin International School's entrance.

Police later claimed it intervened the party since it had not acquired the necessary permission for the event, which PNF refuted claiming it received consent from the school.

Home Ministry in its statement said the school recanted its permission to PNF, and despite Ghiyasuddin informing the party of its decision, the party decided to move forward with its event. 

The ministry further said Ghiyasuddin's management requested from the Ministry of Education for support in intervening the event, for which the ministry had request police assistance.

Though SO Police closed the school's gates, PNF members insisted to enter the premises which led to heated exchanges between the members and police after the latter refused entry.

After concluding the exchange of Eid greeting at Mulee'aage on Wednesday morning, President Muizzu spoke with local media stating he does not condone the conduct of police in the incident.

He further said he requested from the Minister of Sports to arrange a Social Center free of charge as the alternate venue for the new party after he learned PNF was denied entrance to the school.

Despite offering the alternative venue, PNF held its inaugural congress at Raalhugandu area using the flashlight from phones by the attendees to keep the venue lit.

President Muizzu said he instructed Home Minister against sending SO Police to the new location.

In its statement regarding the incident, Home Ministry said the government aims to facilitate a compassionate, considerate, professional and accountable police service.