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

Shafeeu: But I hear that grievances are expressed in S.O. toilets and other places. [Likely referring to anti-government graffiti reported to have been found inside S.O. policemen’s toilets]

P: I see that too.

Shafeeu: Always meeting the reader, never the writer.

P: Even enquiries over on our side have not revealed a writer, especially in a place like this.

Shafeeu: Why are there grievances like these?

P: Afraid of expressing their opinions, actually, I believe.

Shafeeu: What is being found so hard to endure must be a grievance. What is this dissatisfaction? What is the problem?

P: I believe it is because people are dissatisfied with orders from some leaders. Also because of the way some guys are treated. For instance, being the police, there is rank structure and within this, someone might be unhappy even with the order of their immediate superior. Or maybe they are unhappy with the environment they have to operate in. For example: under my leadership a person may have to work differently to how they worked under someone else’s. If that person is unhappy with me but cannot bring it up with me openly, maybe writing something somewhere provides a release for the feelings in their heart.

Shafeeu: Then, something is written about President Nasheed. President Nasheed wouldn’t issue orders directly, would he? Or are there some people among the police he calls as a priority?

P: There is surely no one among us who would call President Nasheed.

Shafeeu: Did he ever call? For example: did he call and say, can you go and do something?

P: No.

Shafeeu: Is there anyone he calls this way, a senior officer? Do you know? Surely he calls Faseeh [Commissioner of Police]?

P: Yes, he would call. But I don’t think among us, I haven’t even heard.

Yasir: Another related question, okay? On the 7th we saw almost the entire police institution step out. There must be some dissatisfaction that motivated this. This is almost the entire institution we saw out. I don’t think this sort of thing can happen suddenly in a single day. Before that, did people talk of grievances? Whether they have been disciplined for doing so or not?

P: This…previous orders…there have been times when I have asked my subordinates to do something, and they have replied they cannot do it the way I have asked them to. For example: now we have to be answerable as individuals, we have to attend court that way, or have to speak somewhere—we are responsible as individuals.

Therefore, even if the person above you tells you to do something, it cannot be done unless it is acceptable to your conscience and can be supported by the constitution. We know this now. All the guys have learnt this part of the law very well. Maybe that’s why things like that…For example: I think about two nights previously, we got [the order?] to enter DRP Office and remove, or cut from the top, some cables—I think TV cables. We don’t believe that we had any legal authority to do that.

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