India’s Ambassador to the Maldives Akhilesh Mishra was summoned by Male on Wednesday after ruling party Member of Parliament Ahmed Nihan was denied entry into India and allegedly detained for four hours by the immigration authorities at Chennai International Airport.
Nihan, a Member of Parliament from the Progressive Party of Maldives, tweeted on Tuesday evening that he had not been allowed to enter India. In a press conference in Male, he accused India of “bullying”. He claimed that he was denied entry into India due to his political affiliations. Nihan is considered to be a close aide to President Abdulla Yameen.
“This is bullying. If this is the implementation of a policy by neighbouring India, it does not make any sense,” Nihan told reports, according to Maldives Independent.
Maldivian ambassador to India Ahmed Mohamed claimed that Nihan arrived in Chennai for his medical check-ups but the Indian government sent him back.
So far, India has not officially commented on the issue.
The development came on the same day the media reported about the Abdulla Yameen government asking India to take back by June 2018 two naval helicopters (ALH Dhruv) which India had gifted to the Maldives.
India’s relations with the Maldives has been under tremendous strains due to growing closer relations of the island nation with China.