Angry mob disrupts Yoga Day event organised by Indian govt in Maldives | Watch

An angry mob barged into the national football stadium in Male, the Maldives’s capital, on Tuesday morning and disrupted an ongoing yoga and meditation session.

The yoga and meditation hour was an initiative by the Indian Cultural Centre in association with the Union Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment on the occasion of the International Day of Yoga. Attendees to the yoga session were unable to continue with their meditation due to the interruption by the mob.

The protesters, who were carrying banners, placards and raising slogans, allegedly demanded that the Yoga Day celebrations be called off and the attendees vacate the stadium immediately. Some attendees reportedly said they were threatened by members of the mob.

Several diplomats, government officials and ministers in the Maldives government were also present at the event when the mob barged in.

Videos shared on social media showed miscreants armed with sticks and flags charging towards people who were practicing yoga and meditation on their yoga mats. A video posted by Raajje TV showed how the protesters destroyed the venue and trashed food stalls meant for the participants.

Police intervened before the situation intensified into a physical altercation by releasing tear gas canisters into the field where the unruly mob was harassing the attendees.

Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said an enquiry into the incident was ordered.

“An investigation has been launched by @PoliceMv into the incident that happened this morning at Galolhu stadium. This is being treated as a matter of serious concern and those responsible will be swiftly brought before the law,” Solih tweeted.

The Maldives was among the 177 nations that voted in favour of co-sponsoring the UN resolution to commemorate June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.

The announcement of hosting an event to commemorate the International Day of Yoga was met with severe criticism by citizens, who had even threatened against holding the event.

A report from a Maldivian news agency, The Edition, mentioned that a section of Islamists believes performing yoga is akin to worshiping the Sun, a heretic act according to Islamic tradition.

Yoga is a burning issue in the Maldives for orthodox Muslims, who have polarised opinions regarding the spiritual discipline, which has benefitted millions across the globe.

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