Male, March 5: Indicating failure of Indian diplomacy, the Maldivian government today arrested opposition leader and former president Mohamed Nasheed.
Nasheed has been arrested from his residence in Male'. The arrest comes after a lower court issued a third arrest warrant against him.
The arrest comes as a defiance of diplomatic pressure by India, considered to be regional power. India had called for him to be free to campaign for elections after brokering deal last month. Nasheed had taken refuge in Indian embassy for almost 11 days after a warrant was issued for his detention.
He has now been charged with ordering the military to unconstitutionally detain the Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed. He had taken shelter in the Indian Mission on February 13 to evade arrest after he failed to appear in court.
Nasheed says it is a politically motivated case designed to ensure he can't contest the September Presidential polls. 'India should intervene if I face arrest again', Nasheed had told media.
The first round of elections will be held on September 7. If no clear winner emerges, a run-off would be held later the same month.
India has played a key role in brokering an end to the stand-off last month. A four-member foreign ministry delegation was in the Maldives for over four days for talks.
But the Indian interest received a blow when the new regime took over the Male airport from the GMR consortium, breaching the agreement inked by the Nasheed government. Since then, there has been steady decline of Indian clout in the island nation.