Male, Feb 5: The Maldives was hanging on the brink of military rule on Sunday after President Abdulla Yameen refused to follow the orders of the Supreme Court to reinstate sacked 12 opposition members, putting the army on alert. As Yameen refused to budge, the apex court reportedly sought help from India and other democratic countries. Also Read - India's COVID Tally Surpasses 53 Lakh-mark, Deaths Stand at 85,619; 5 Worst-hit States Report High Level of Recoveries | Key Points

The Supreme Court on Thursday night ordered an immediate release of the jailed politicians, including former President Mohamed Nasheed, and said the “questionable and politically motivated nature of the trials of the political leaders warrant a re-trial”. Also Read - Schools Reopening From Monday | What Back to Classes Might Look Like Amid Pandemic

Earlier on Sunday, Chief Justice Hassan Saeed rejected the government’s petition for review, saying the latter has to first implement the apex court’s order and only then seek a review. With the political crisis in the Maldives showing no signs of abating, the Chief Justice reportedly received threats to his life via anonymous telephone calls. Also Read - COVID-19: With Spike of Over 96,000 Cases, India's Tally Crosses 52-Lakh Mark, Deaths Near 85K

Things became worse when the country’s police chief and the Maldives National Defence Force announced they were going to take orders from attorney general Mohamed Anil and not the SC. The Indian mission in Male, according to a Times of India report, was in touch with “all relevant agencies” involved in the crisis.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Anil said the government had received information that the Supreme Court was preparing to issue a ruling to impeach or remove Abdulla Yameen, but such a move would be illegal and the police and army had been instructed not to carry out such an order.

The country has seen political unrest since Mohamed Nasheed was sentenced to 13 years in jail in 2015 on terrorism charges. Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected leader, took office in 2008. He was ousted in a coup in February 2012.

On Sunday evening, opposition Members of Parliament held a joint meeting and decided to lead a massive protest against President Mohammed Yameen.Demanding justice and a return of the rule of law, they called for the immediate release of all political prisoners.

Abdullah Riyaz, a former Commissioner of Police said, “People of Maldives are demanding the President to step down. We don’t have faith in him because he did not respect the constitution and judiciary”. An absolute fear has gripped the island, in anticipation of a major showdown. (With ANI inputs)