Opposition aligned television channel ‘Raajje TV’ on Monday declared that it will be suing the state for negligence regarding the arson attack on its studio in 2013.
On October 6, 2013 – amidst the controversial presidential election – several masked men had torched the television station’s studio located at BKT Building on the outermost Boduthakurufaanu Magu of capital Male City, in the early hours of the morning.
‘Raajje TV’ suffered a massive loss, with equipment worth over MVR11 million being burnt to a crisp in the fire.
In the case that was filed at the Civil Court on Monday, the television station claimed that the state had failed to provide it with adequate security, which resulted in the arson attack.
Further, the Police Integrity Commission’s report on the attack had also concluded that the officers keeping watch around the area that night had neglected their duty. The case filed at the court urged to take action against these officers.
Prior to the attack, Raajje TV had also requested protection from the state as it was receiving threats about a potential attack. The television station played a pivotal role in campaigning for main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s presidential candidate and former President Mohamed Nasheed.
Whilst several masked figures were seen dousing the television station in petrol and setting it ablaze on the CCTV footage, only one individual, Mohamed Meeghad from Male City, was charged for the crime. He was charged with terrorism and the case is currently on going at the Criminal Court.
Meanwhile, Maldives Broadcasting Commission on Sunday slapped the television station with a hefty fine of MVR 500,000 for broadcasting content that defamed President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. This was the third fine that has been imposed on the opposition-aligned station under the contentious Freedom of Speech and Defamation Act.