An angry mob barged into the premises of Maldives national football stadium on Tuesday morning and proceeded to interrupt an ongoing yoga and meditation session.
The yoga and meditation hour was an initiative by Indian Cultural Center in association with Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment.
Attendees to the yoga session at 06:30 am were unable to continue with their meditation due to the interruption of the mob.
The protesters had urged the yoga attendees to vacate the stadium and leave the premises immediately.
Meanwhile, some attendees report they were threatened by the members of the mob.
Police intervened the horde of angry protesters before the situation had intensified into a physical altercation by releasing tear gas cannisters into the field.
The announcement of hosting an event to commemorate International Day of Yoga was met with stern criticism by some members of the public, who had threatened against holding it.
Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment had requested to utilize Rasfannu artificial beach for the event which was turned by Male' City Council.
City Council claims it denied the ministry's request owing to mounting public complaints.
Yoga meditation is a highly contested subject among Islamic scholars with contrastingly polarizing opinions. Some scholars postulate that yoga meditation is parallel to sun-worshipping.
Yoga is described as a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices originating from ancient India while the majority of its practices are rooted out from Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, thus giving it the controversial nature among Islamic scholars.
Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) in 2014 recognized and announced International Day of Yoga to be commemorated on June 21 of every year.
Interestingly, Maldives was among the 177 nations that voted in favor of co-sponsoring the UN resolution to commemorate the day.