A man who was severely pepper-sprayed by the police during the opposition protest late Thursday night, is now in a coma, the man’s brother confirmed.
Abdullah Saleem, 43, had suffered an epileptic episode after being pepper-sprayed from very close proximity, and then went into a coma, his brother said.
He is currently being treated at the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital's (IGMH) intensive care unit.
“His condition is very serious. He can’t breathe properly because of the effects of the pepper-spray,” Saleem’s brother said.
According to witnesses, the police sprayed him while he was inside opposition Jumhoory Party’s official party camp in Male, ‘Kunooz’. They were trying to clear out the hub, and Saleem had fallen during the hassle. Witnesses claim that a police officer had pepper-sprayed his mouth when he was on the ground.
He had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance, the witnesses added.
The opposition has been hosting a series of protests, calling the government to bring an end to the alleged unlawful state of emergency and to enforce the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on February 1 that freed nine political prisoners and reinstated 12 parliamentarians who were unseated for floor-crossing. They also claim that the Supreme Court is under siege and that the police and military are being controlled by President Abdulla Yameen.