Former Commissioner of Police (CP) Mohamed Hameed has said that it is not within the powers of President Mohamed Muizzu to direct police operations.

Hameed, in a post on social media, said police operations should be independent and should not be interfered with by anyone in elected positions.

“The Commissioner of Police holds responsibility over the police force. Operational decisions, including deployment, are guided by established internal command and control structures, policies, and practices, as well as by the Constitution, Police Services Act, and other relevant laws,” he said.

President Muizzu, stating that police action to disrupt the People’s National Front (PNF)’s inaugural rally went against his repeated direct instructions, said he would direct the SO police to be deployed should any such need be identified.

“It looked very bad last night. I have given very clear instructions that there would be no SO police, none. If they had to, I would know when I got to that point in this country, I would tell them if they had to do that,” Muizzu said.

The police obstructed the PNF’s inaugural rally in violation of his orders and he had ordered an investigation to be conducted and a report submitted to him, the President had previously assured the public.

Police obstructed the PNF rally after the Education Ministry ordered the party to stop the rally to safeguard Ghiyasuddin International School (GIS), police said.

While President Muizzu said he had repeatedly instructed Home Minister Ali Iuhsaan and CP Ali Suja not to send SO police, the administration has now instructed the police not to deploy SO police without the direct permission of the CP.

The decision was taken after the President’s Office reviewed the investigation report into the SO police’s attempt to stop PNF ‘s inaugural rally.

The administration, through the Home Ministry, has advised the police to make five main considerations in connection with Wednesday’s actions by the SO police;

  1. Redefine the circumstances in which SO police must engage to require the permission of the CP
  2. Restructure the operational command and control of the police
  3. The Police Professional Standards Command should investigate SO police actions as regards to the PNF rally and take action against those responsible
  4. Review the manner in which information is provided to the media in operational situations and make it more transparent
  5. The Use of Force Review Committee will review the use of force by the SO police at the PNF meeting and take necessary action

Despite President Muizzu stating that he had repeatedly advice non-interference, police were sent to GIS on the direct orders of the President, PNF officials said. Muizzu was feigning a lack of awareness for “damage control,” the PNF said.