Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih issued a decree on Thursday banning anti-India protests, calling them a threat to national security, The Hindu reported.

The protests, which are part of the ‘India Out’ campaign, currently spearheaded by former President Abdulla Yameen, have gained more prominence in recent months. The campaign alleges that the Maldives “is a puppet of New Delhi”, and allows India to have a military presence on the island, The Hindu reported.

On Thursday, the Maldivian president issued a decree to ban protests against India, The Indian Express reported.

The decree, “Stopping Campaigns that Incite Hatred Against Various Countries Under Different Slogans”, calls the “India Out” protests an organised drive aimed to disrupt relations between the Maldives and India by inciting unrest.

The decree, issued in Dhivehi language, said that Maldives is duty-bound to provide security to diplomats who have been posted in the Maldives for missions, the newspaper reported. Authorities have been instructed by the president to implement the decree under the provisions of the law.

The Maldives’s National Security Council had recently called the “India Out” campaign a “threat to national security”, The Hindu reported.

Yameen has become the face of the campaign since his release from prison in December, The Indian Express reported. He was arrested in 2019 on charges of theft, money laundering and giving false statements to the police.

The Progressive Congress Coalition, Yameen’s party, issued a statement criticising Solih’s orders.

“This marks a dark day in the history of the Maldives as for the first time a sitting President has actively elected to abandon his own people and protect the interests of a foreign military,” the coalition said, according to The Hindu.

The Maldives is part of the New Delhi-led Colombo Security Conclave, which includes Sri Lanka and Mauritius. The nations envisage cooperation on shared security objectives, The Indian Express reported.