Insights into the Baaghee mind: CoNI interview with a policeman who mutinied

Shafeeu: Who do you hear are paying them?

P: Well, they send what they send. For instance, I hear MDP people are being sent out. Then I…the protest over here, on this side, I got information that some people had been sent out with seedhaa alcohol.

Shafeeu: Which protest is that?

P: That’s the same protests that went on at the time. One night they came even inside the MMA {Maldives Monetary Authority]. That night, too, some people affiliated with a Mas-odi group came in. That night we got information like that, specifically who pays, whoever pays…

Shafeeu: Have you not seen any evidence or documentation of this? You would have seen evidence. Once you see it, you’ll know which end things come out on, wouldn’t you? Who comes out for the money?

P: We don’t know there’s been a payment, do we? Couldn’t it also be that they come for free when called?

Shafeeu: But you would know who sent them, wouldn’t you?

P: Well, that’s always the people opposing the protests, isn’t it? That’s who would be sending out opponents.

Shafeeu: If people like that were being chased, and if they took refuge in one of these Haruge and Jagaha—whatever names they are called— do you have to then leave them be?

P: No. No.

Shafeeu: Has something like that happened? That is, on the night of that 6th, some guys [security personnel] chased several people into MDP Haruge—you are saying you think they were running in after these people. If so, they went into the building while giving chase! Having entered, they ‘messed around’ [‘sakaraaiy gan’deh jehee’] and destroyed the whole place. The whole place wasn’t destroyed, it was very badly damaged. Then there were some leading political figures there too. Has it happened before that you leave someone you are chasing when they enter such a place?

P: No. No.

Shafeeu: That hasn’t happened?

P: No, it says very clearly. Anywhere…we can follow a suspect we are chasing into any premises.

Shafeeu: But, it’s been seen sometimes, when protests are being held outside the Majlis, in front of the Majlis gates, police wearing sunglasses and looking as if they couldn’t care less. Other times, as soon as someone’s bus is filled, they are dispersed. What’s going on here?

P: That then we. We also work under orders. For instance, if something major is not happening, we just hold things. Or there could be instances where you think its better to hold off than to act.

Shafeeu: In such an instance, have you had to do something that you did not approve of?

P: Oh no.

Shafeeu: Has there been an instance when you thought to yourself: this is not the best way to do this? This had happened on the 6th, hadn’t it? Many people felt that abandoning the post was not the best thing to do. Other incidents like this must have happened?

P: Sometimes when we are told to disperse a protest, it may, for instance, be a place where people are allowed to protest, under the right to freedom of assembly. If they are not disturbing the peace, they can stay. But, if you look at it from another angle, for instance, some businesses can be obstructed. In legal terms, there can be obstruction of business, traffic and pedestrian movement…these are ways it can be done. There are incidents that have formed questions in my mind but none that formed any major grievances.

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