Yoga clashes: More suspects to be arrested

There are still people to be arrested in connection with the Yoga Day event storming, Maldives Police Service has said.

A group of youths stormed the stadium last Tuesday to protest against an International Yoga Day event held at the venue. The event was held amid scholars saying that yoga is a form of worship practiced by Indians and that it is an act of polytheism. Twenty-one people, including two religious scholars, have been arrested in connection to the incident.

In a press conference held Monday, Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamed Riyaz said 21 people had been arrested in connection to the incident. Investigation shows four suspects played a significant role in creating unrest at the event by inciting violence and encouraging discord, he said. More people involved in the clashes are being sought, he added, not disclosing how many other suspects are being pursued.

Riyaz said the rioters breached security and entered the National Stadium while ambassadors from six countries were present at the venue. Cabinet ministers, families, and children were also present, he said. However, no one was seriously injured in the clashes.

ACP Riyaz said some say people are being arrested for speaking out against yoga. However, Riyaz said that was not the case.