'India Out' event organizers asked to stop Friday's rally: Minister

Home Minister Imran Abdulla has said the organizers of the 'India Out' event scheduled to be held on March 25 had been informed that they could not hold the rally.

The opposition's India Out campaign seeks to drive out Indian military personnel stationed in the Maldives. The movement has gained momentum in recent months, especially in the atolls. Both the government and Parliament are attempting to stop the campaign, although the opposition has said they would not stop the movement at any cost.

During Monday's Parliament sitting, Henveiru Central MP Ali Azim inquired from the Home Minister why the government has been unsuccessful in putting a stop to the India Out campaign.

In his response, Minister Imran said he has previously answered to the Parliament Committee on National Security regarding the campaign. Assuring that the government was working on stopping the campaign, the minister said the organizers of an event scheduled to be held in the capital later this month had been informed that they could not go ahead with the event.

'We have informed them that they cannot hold an event against the laws and regulations,' Imran said.

Although the Home Minister has said the event's organizers had been told they could not proceed with the rally, the organizers, opposing Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), have said they were not informed of the update. The party's Spokesperson Heena Waleed said Imran's statement at the Parliament was a blatant lie and that no discussions have taken place with any government authority regarding Friday's event.

'The India Out event will be carried on with zest,' she said.