India should be worried over Maldives turmoil: Expert

India "should be worried" over the quick-paced developments in the Maldives that saw the president quit and violence spread across the country, said an expert here.

"Definitely, India should be worried," said Anand Kumar of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

Mohamed Nasheed stepped down as president Tuesday following weeks of protests. Violence erupted in capital Male after Nasheed took to the streets along with thousands of his supporters.

The police and army attacked the protesters who were shouting slogans against newly sworn-in President Mohamed Waheed. The violence spread to other atolls in the country of nearly 1,200 islands.

It looks like the Maldives is heading "for a civil war...(which means) lots of trouble for us as well", Kumar told IANS.

Kumar said it seems a greater design has made Nasheed resign.

"Direct interference by India is ruled out. The situation is different from 1988 when there was a request from Male and outsiders were involved," said Kumar.

In November 1988, the Indian armed forces went into the archipelago nation on the request of then president Maumoom Abdul Gayoom, who faced a coup by mercenaries of the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam.

Kumar suggested India's "indirect, behind the scene" assistance to the Maldives.
He added that it is not a failure for India, "but more of a mishandling of the situation by Nasheed".

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