The Parliament Committee on National Security Services (241 Committee) has convened a confidential meeting to probe the intrusion of Indian military personnel into the Maldives’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). 

Defence Minister Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon was summoned to provide insights and answers regarding the incident that has stirred diplomatic tensions and raised security concerns among the Maldivian fishing community. 

Abdul Ghafoor Moosa, the Committee’s Chairperson, initiated the session by declaring the matter confidential, leading to a unanimous decision among committee members to maintain the privacy of the discussions.

This incident, which initially unfolded on 31 January, involved the boarding of three Maldivian fishing boats, namely Asurumaa-3, Maahoara-3, and Neru-7, by armed officers from the Indian Coastguard. Reports from the crews indicated that the soldiers demanded the satellite phone numbers of the vessels, with Maahoara-3 experiencing a second boarding by a different Indian Coastguard ship on 1 February.

On Tuesday, Fisheries Minister Ahmed Shiyam during a parliamentary inquiry admitted to being unaware of the reasons behind the armed intrusion, sparking a debate on national security and sovereignty. The Opposition has been vocal in its demands for clarity and action, calling on the government to address the violation of international maritime law and the safety of Maldivian fishermen.

Earlier, a statement released by the Defence Ministry highlighted that the boardings were conducted without governmental consent and constituted a breach of international maritime law.