As Maldives plunged into a deeper crisis, India today established contact with top political leaders of the island nation with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sending his special envoy and favouring resolution of the problem through dialogue.
Singh despatched as his special envoy M Ganapathi, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs Ministry, to listen to all voices and assess the situation in Maldives after the ouster of Mohammad Nasheed as President earlier this week.
Singh said it was his sincere hope that the matter can be resolved through peaceful dialogue.
"It will be our effort to use our influence in that direction," the Prime Minister said.
Nasheed had quit as President on Tuesday making way for Vice President Mohammad Waheed Hassan but later claimed that he was forced to quit with guns all around him and hit the streets with his supporters demanding he be reinstated to the top post.
Ganapathi met Nasheed and his successor Waheed and conveyed India's willingness to assist in early installation of a national unity government in the Indian Ocean atoll.
Waheed Hassan is understood to have assured India that he would not indulge in a witch-hunt while dealing with Nasheed.
The government sources said India believed that Nasheed was not ousted in a coup, as claimed by him, but had stepped down owing to weeks of violent protests.
They dubbed Nasheed's current stand as a "re-construction of events" 24 hours after stepping down as President and after a meeting of his Maldives Democratic Party.
The sources also pointed out that Nasheed did not enjoy majority in Parliament and had to put on hold some of his decisions because of lack of number.