Police in the Maldives used tear gas and pepper spray to control a crowd of people who disrupted a yoga event organized by the Indian High Commission or embassy in the capital Male on Tuesday morning, an organizer said.
The mob stormed a stadium where more than 150 people, including diplomats and government officials, were taking part in the celebration of International Day of Yoga, attacking participants and damaging property, one of the organisers, said. Joe did not wish to be named because he was not authorized to speak with the media, told Reuters.
— ICCR in the Maldives (@iccr_maldives) 21 June 2022
Earlier, the protesters raised placards saying yoga was against the principles of Islam.
Islam is the state religion in the Maldives, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean with a population of about half a million.
Superintendent of Police Fatmath Nashawa told Reuters that police responded with anti-riot measures and later used pepper spray and tear gas to control the crowd and secure the area.
An inquiry has been launched by @PoliceMv In this incident that happened at Galolhu Stadium this morning.
This is being considered as a matter of serious concern and those responsible will be brought before the law expeditiously.
— Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (@ibusolih) 21 June 2022
Nashwa said that six people have been arrested in connection with the incident.
Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said a police investigation had been launched into the incident.
“This is considered a matter of grave concern and those responsible will be swiftly brought before the law,” Solih said on Twitter.