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What happened in Maldives that led to coup?

Feb 21, 2012 08:58 AM IST India India

New Delhi: What really happened in Maldives that led to the toppling of the first democratically elected president in the island nation. CNN-IBN brings you the inside story of how the coup was planned, plotted and executed to perfection.

Chief Judge Abdullah Mohammed of Criminal court in Maldives was arrested on January 16 on corruption charges and then appointed for life by former dictator Mamoon Abdul Gayoom.

Hassan Saeed, Gayoom's attorney general and now special advisor to President Mohammed Waheed had accused him of making derogatory comments inside courts against women and requested an underage victim of sexual assault to renact her abuse in an open court.

Judge Abdullah Mohammed's arrest made the opposition galvanized by Gayoom, his brother Yameen, richest businessman Gasim Ibrahim and radical Islamists to rally against the government.

The opposition leaders met vice president Mohammed Waheed on January 30. In this late night press conference, they declared allegiance to Waheed and requested him to 'take over the government', called police and army to not to implement any order given by President Nasheed.

On February 7, just after midnight, a breakaway Police Special Operations unit, Star Force, created during Gayoom's regime. The headquarters of President Nasheed's party, Maldivian Democratic party, was attacked and party supporters and leaders were badly beaten up.

Vice President Dr Waheed pledged support for mutinying police on VTV, owned by opposition leader Gasim Ibrahim.

After a daybreak, President Nasheed arrived at police headquarters to diffuse situation. He was soon taken inside military headauqrters. But outside, police brutally beat up MDP protestors.

Police, which cannot legally carry firearms, took over national broadcaster MNBC along with islamist radicals.

At gunpoint, Nasheed agreed to resign. He was taken away in military vehicle to the President's Office.

"I beg you to please go out and help protect this country. Save this country, I beg you on behalf of the people of this nation." Nasheed wrote his handwritten resignation letter, which was allegedly snatched from his hand by coup leaders.

coup leaders took his letter to the parliament without his knowledge. Then, Nasheed announced his retirement.

Umar Naseer, deputy leader of former dictator Gayoom's party, then spills the beans in a public rally, confessing to the coup. "When the operation was happening, I was in the commanding center. I was talking to people who were with Nasheed. I continued to ask them to surrender, if not his life might be in line. I was continuously saying that" Umar said. ""I said to Nasheed, if you did not resign there were only two options. Firstly, resign with bloodshed. Next, resign peacefully. And I told him one of these two would happen today. If he had not resigned that day, people would have scaled the walls to kill him. I told my aides to prepare the ladder, the time for it has come," he added.