NEW DELHI: Maldives, India’s southernmost neighbour, is fast becoming a radical state with high degree of intolerance encouraged by the regime of President Abdullah Yameen, alleged Hussain Rasheed, father of the slain blogger Yameen Rasheed. The father who visited Delhi this week to talk about the circumstances leading to the brutal murder of his son, a liberal and popular blogger, told ET that President Yameen is encouraging radical forces in the name of religion.
“Days after my son’s murder, the President stated that God will punish those who abuse religion. This implied that the regime is giving tacit support to radical groups. Maldives is fast becoming a haven for radicalism with support from certain quarters abroad.”
Hussain alleged that over 200 Maldivian youths have travelled to Syria to join the ISIS, and hardline preachers have a free run in the remote islands of Maldives. He sought India’s intervention to prevent Maldives from becoming a radical state .
There were earlier reports that Maldivian youth are being lured by madrassas in Pakistan through scholarships. While the Chinese presence in Maldives is a cause for worry in Delhi, the rise of radical groups in Maldives yet again raises the fear of terror attack in India through the seas. Hussain will travel to Geneva next month to move the UN Human Rights Council to seek justice for his son’s murder.
“Yameen was an impassioned critic who reported on issues related to corruption and radicalism, mainly through his popular blog The Daily Panic… His witty and relentless condemnation of systemic injustice earned him praise, but also drew the attention of religious extremists and government officials who felt threatened by his social and political commentary,” said Hussain.
Yameen, who grew up in India and studied in Bangalore before he went back to work in the Maldives Stock Exchange, had reported numerous death threats before this attack. The police refused to act on any of his complaints, alleged Hussain, a former hotelier. Hussain further accused that reports since his killing suggest that the crime scene had been tampered with before a thorough review of evidence could be carried out.
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