A timeline of the events leading up to the transfer of power issued by the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) has revealed that while the police officers had been protesting at the Republic Square on February 7, ammunition from the guns of the on duty military officers had been removed and stored.
The timeline publicized in the CNI website today detailed that the rounds from the guns of the on duty military officers had been taken out and stored between 4.00 and 5.00 of the morning of February 7, the day President Mohamed Nasheed had resigned.
In addition, the military officers charged with the security of the military arsenal had been ordered not to issue weapons under any orders without the approval of the officer in charge of the armory.
Timeline further claimed that a General had informed Nasheed that the only way to disperse the Police officers protesting at the Republic Square between 10.00 – 11.00 of the morning of February 7 was to use live rounds. But Nasheed had ordered against the use of live ammunition under any circumstances.
It is also reported that Nasheed had strode out to the Republic Square around 6.00 – 7.00 of the morning of February 7 to address the protesting police officers without prior consultation with the military. Nasheed had been accompanied by his bodyguard, the then Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu and former Chief of Defence Force Major General Moosa Ali Jaleel.
In addition, when Nasheed had addressed the police officers some Parliament members had also been present at the scene.
Timeline also detailed that Tholhath had asked one of the military officers near the main gate of the army barracks to allow an opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) group into the Republic Square through the military cordon. After stating that a prominent officer of Male area command would facilitate the process, Tholhath had entered the barracks, timeline said.
Afterwards the military cordon near the MMA building had been pushed forward, while the cordons near Reefside and Islamic Centre had been brought back towards the army barracks, document claimed.
According to the timeline, it is believed that the clashes between the police officers at the Republic Square and MDP supporters armed with wooden clubs and sharp objects that had arrived at the Square on a pickup truck through the narrow road at the side of Islamic Centre had ensued at the time.
Then coalition protesters along with the military had confronted the MDP group and forced them back.
“Police had asked the members of the public not to get involved with their confrontations with the military. Police had assured the public that nothing would get out of hand. The Police then formed a cordon to the west of Republic Square to prevent members of the public from reaching the square,” Timeline stated.
It also reports that around 5.00 – 6.00 in the morning, Nasheed had informed the then Police Commissioner Ahmed Faseeh to come down to the Republic Square and police had announced that Faseeh would meet the police officers at the Square.
However, after coming out of the army barracks the Commissioner had gone straight to the Shaheed Hussain Adam building without meeting the protesting police officers. Afterwards the police officers were informed to come to Iskandharu Koshi if they want an audience with the Commissioner.
Timeline detailed that Nasheed had inquired from a military platoon returning back to the army barracks whether they had any reservations in arresting the protesting police officers. When one commander had voiced reservations, Nasheed had asked the officer not to participate in the operation. In addition two other commanders had backed down from the operation citing reservations, timeline revealed.
Between 10.00 – 11.00 of the morning of February 7, Nasheed had descended to the grounds of the army barracks had asked the opinion of the ‘other ranks’ military personnel over his next course of action, according to the timeline.
“When Nasheed had asked the question after pointing to an individual officer in the group, the officer had asked the President to resign. Citing that it was just the sole opinion of one officer, when Nasheed had asked the group if his resignation was also the view of the remaining officers, almost every member of the group had raised their hands,” timeline read.
It also reports that Nasheed had gone to the army barracks sometime between 4.00-5.00 in the morning of February 7. As he entered through the main gate of the barracks, Nasheed had ordered some military personnel to arrest the protesting police officers at the Republic Square stating that they were involved in a coup. Afterwards he had made his way to the Defence Minister’s office.
The timeline of the CNI further stated that if any amendments to the document need to be made, to forward detailed information of the events to the Commission before June 31.
Commission further stressed that this timeline was not the report of the CNI but had been drafted to obtain the opinion of the general public.