Maldives Police Service arrested a third man on Friday night, in connection with the sexual abuse of a two-year-old girl in Kanduhulhudhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.
The 33-year-old man, said to be the father of the victim, was arrested from a flat in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale.
Police stated that the man was taken to the detention centre in prison island, Dhoonidhoo.
The arrest was made in the middle of a large protest, where dozens of people gathered in front of the apartment building in Hulhumale', calling for the man's arrest or for him to be handed over to the people. The gathering became heated and the police used pepper spray in an attempt to control the crowd, according to local media.
The crowd did not disperse and police officers in riot gear were also active on the scene, pushing the protestors back from the building.
Per reports, a police officer was injured after he was struck by an object thrown from the crowd, and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Earlier the same day, the police arrested two elderly men, aged 62 and 81, in relation to the case. The two men, said to be the victim's grandfather and great-grandfather, were arrested in Kanduhulhudhoo where the crime occurred.
Posts shared on social media allege that the child's parents were substance abusers, and that she had been raped by her father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Local media Mihaaru corroborated the allegations, based on sources from the island.
However, the authorities have not officially confirmed these claims.