NEW DELHI - With Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declaring a state of emergency amid a political crisis in the country, the Indian government on Monday cautioned citizens against travelling to the Maldives. "The prevailing political developments in Maldives and the resultant law and order situation is a matter of concern for the government of India," the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement. "Indian nationals are, therefore,
advised to defer all non-essential travels to Male and other atolls until further notice."Indian expatriates in Maldives are also alerted to the need for heightened security awareness, and urged to exercise due caution in public and avoid public gatherings." Yameen officially announced that the Maldives was in a state of emergency for the duration of 15 days starting on Monday night.The state of emergency gives security officials extra powers to arrest suspects, the BBC reported. The Maldives has been facing days of unrest after the Supreme Court issued a ruling last week to release top opposition political leaders including former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, saying they must be freed until fair trials could be conducted without undue influence. The government has already suspended Parliament and ordered the army to resist any moves by the Supreme Court to impeach the President. India on Friday called for peace and stability in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation. "In the spirit of democracy and rule of law, it is imperative for all organs of the government of Maldives to respect and abide by the order of the apex court," the External Affairs said in a statement. It also called upon the Maldivian authorities to ensure the safety and security of the Indian expatriates in Maldives under all circumstances. "As a close and friendly neighbour, India wishes to see a stable, peaceful and prosperous Maldives," the statement said.