Maldives: Indian Ambassador Rajeev Shahare's car attacked outside High Commission; envoy, staff safe

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Maldives: Indian Ambassador Rajeev Shahare's car attacked outside High Commission; envoy, staff safe
Male:  Indian High Commissioner in Maldives Rajeev Shahare's car was attacked by unidentified persons in capital Male today. No one was injured in the incident. The police commissioner has assured Indian diplomats that no effort will be spared to catch the suspects. The car's windscreen was damaged by what's thought to be 'objects' thrown by the motorcyclists.

Reacting to the attack, President Waheed's spokesperson Masood Imad told NDTV, "It's a grievous, regrettable incident. We will make sure that no attacks on Indians take place and we will catch the suspects."

Former President Nasheed issued a statement saying, "I condemn the vandalism of the Indian High commissioner's car and call on the government to launch an investigation immediately."

An estimated 28,000 Indians work in the Maldives apart from tourists who frequent the holiday paradise. Sources say it's a signal being sent to India in a highly vitiated political atmosphere in the archipelago.

Sources also say that a top diplomat's vehicle was stopped a few weeks back and he was allowed to proceed only after about 20 minutes. Those sources add the car then didn't have diplomatic license plates and was connected to Indian company GMR - that was evicted from Male in December 2012.

India has faced some flak from religious and political outfits in Maldives for over a year and a half especially in the backdrop of the government cancelling the country's biggest FDI - in the form of GMR's airport contract and evicting the company. A court process is currently underway in Singapore and the UK on compensation claims for the $ 511 million deal.

Ex-President Nasheed had also taken refuge in the High Commission for almost two weeks when an arrest warrant was issued against him earlier this year. He emerged only after the international community and India pushed for free, fair and inclusive elections.

Mr Nasheed is seeking re-election in the presidential polls which have been delayed after the Supreme Court annulled the first round.



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