Two elderly men arrested in connection with the sexual abuse of a two-year-old girl in Kanduhulhudhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll were remanded for a period of 15 days.
Following their arrest on Friday, the police intended to take the men, aged 62 and 81, to the court in Vilingili, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll since the Chief Magistrate of Kanduhulhudhoo Court is currently under suspension.
However, after the residents of Vilingili began expressing discontent over the move, the two men who are said to be the victim's grandfather and great-grandfather, were taken to Gemanafushi Court in the same atoll.
Therefore, it was the Gemanafushi Court that approved the decision to remand the men for a 15-day period.
Police have transported the men to Dhoonidhoo prison in Kaaf Atoll for detainment throughout their remand period.
The residents of Thinadhoo also protested on the island's harbour in response to rumours that the men would be detained in Thinadhoo.
The police also arrested a third man, aged 33-years and said to be the victim's father on Friday night.
The arrest was made in the reclaimed suburb of Hulhumale' amidst a large protest, where dozens of people gathered in front of the man's apartment building calling for the man's arrest or for him to be handed over to the people.
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, as per a joint statement released by the Police and the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services, it was only the child's grandfather that perpetrated the abuse. The father is guilty of neglect while the great-grandfather has previous records of child sexual abuse.
The Gender Ministry has removed the 2-year-old from the family and moved her to a safe environment.