India on Friday asked the Maldives government to respect and abide by the verdict of the country’s Supreme Court ordering the immediate release of all nine political prisoners, including former President Mohamed Nasheed, and reinstatement of 12 Members of Parliament who had been stripped of their posts.

“We have seen last night’s order of the Supreme Court of Maldives releasing all political prisoners, In the spirit of democracy and rule of law, it is imperative for all organs of the government of Maldives to respect and abide by the order of the apex court,’’ the External Affairs Ministry said.

New Delhi hoped the safety and security of the Indian expatriates in Maldives would be ensured by the Maldivian authorities under all circumstances. “As a close and friendly neighbour, India wishes to see a stable, peaceful and prosperous Maldives. We are closely monitoring the evolving situation,’’ the ministry added.

India’s response to the developments in the Indian Ocean archipelago came even as the government there was refusing to implement the ruling of the apex court, leading to clashes on the streets of the country’s capital Male.

President Abdulla Yameen ensconced himself with top officials of his government at Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) headquarters, from where the attorney general announced the firing of the police chief. The Maldives police’s twitter account had announced soon after the ruling that it will enforce the Supreme Court order.

On Thursday, the Maldives Supreme Court unexpectedly ordered the release of all political prisoners, including Maldivian Democratic Party’s Nasheed, Jumhoree Party chief Gasim Ibrahim and Adhaalath’s Imran Abdulla. Nasheed and Gasim are currently in self-exile after being given permission to leave the country for medical treatment.

The Supreme Court also ordered the immediate release of former defence minister Mohamed Nazim, MP Faris Maumoon, former vice president Ahmed Adheeb, former prosecutor general Muhthaz Muhusin, chief magistrate Ahmed Nihan and local businessman Hamid Ismail.