No need for electronic tagging, says minister

There was no longer a need to electronically tag young criminals as the government has managed to reform most of them, home minister Azleen Ahmed claimed.

Speaking during a program on state TV, the minister accused the opposition when it was in government of encouraging youth to a life of crime and drug use.

However, incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom since taking office in 2013 has managed to make such youth productive members of society, he added.

According to Azleen the primary aim of the government was to reform criminals rather than punish them.

"The president's aim was to save young people from a life of crime. To give a second opportunity for criminals convicted of minor crimes to reenter society. The president doesn't want to tag and lock up such people. We lose their youthful creativity if we do that. So now young people can stand on their own two feet and contribute to the economy and society," Azleen explained.

Maldives had electronically tagged, conducted surveillance and intercepted communications of several high-profile gang members in the past which however had been put on hold in recent months.

Opposition parties have continued to accuse president Yameen of having links to gangs.

The home minister's comments came in the wake of an upsurge in stabbing attacks where a young man was killed last week.