A day after the President of Maldives Abdulla Yameen put in place a 15 day "State of Emergency" on Monday, and the Chief Justice of Maldives was arrested, exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed on Tuesday reached out to India for "physical presence" and aid.
Mr Gayoom (80) turned against his half-brother a year ago, forming an unlikely opposition alliance with Mr Nasheed, the Maldives' first democratically elected president, who was ousted in a de facto military coup in 2012.
Yameen, who has been defying Supreme Court's orders on releasing former president Mohamed Nasheed, and free eight other political opponents from prison, has now given sweeping powers to security forces in the country, which is facing widespread domestic protests against the president.
Hours after the move, Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed have been arrested by the Maldivies police. A Supreme Court statement on Sunday said "there are no obstacles in implementing the ruling ... and that this has been informed to the Prosecutor General's office".
The declared state of emergency deepens the crisis in the island state located in the Indian Ocean.
In its ruling last Thursday, the Supreme Court said it found that prosecutors and judges had been influenced "to conduct politically motivated investigations" into the allegations leveled against Nasheed, former vice president Ahmed Adeeb, and the other opposition figures.
India, the United States and UK have been urging President Yameen to honour the rule of law and free the detainees.
"Since the declaration of a state of emergency yesterday, we have seen a wave of arbitrary arrests in the Maldives".
The action escalates tensions after the nation's Supreme Court ordered the government to release nine jailed opposition leaders.
The top court had not rescinded the part of the order which quashed its anti-defection ruling ordering the country's electoral watchdog to re-instate the dozen government lawmakers disqualified over the ruling.
President Abdulla Yameen's regime has also suspended the constitutional rights of people.
"We issued a travel advisory warning our nationals against the non-essential travel and we are evaluating the developments including the security situation", said the official.
He also said that releasing the incarcerated politicians would "raise concerns over national security".
He was granted medical leave in 2016 and travelled to Britain where he was granted asylum.
Yameen did not honour the court orders and declared emergency on Monday night, giving special powers to forces to make arrests and bar public gatherings.