WORLD : Ousted Ershad Sought by Police

From Times Wire Services

Police said today they had orders to arrest ousted President Hussain Mohammed Ershad, and a dozen senior officials from his government were being sought by authorities.

Ershad, facing unrelenting public pressure and the refusal of his army to support him, handed over power last week to the Supreme Court chief justice, Shahabuddin Ahmed, as acting president.

Opposition parties, under pressure from radical university students who spearheaded the anti-Ershad campaign, have urged that the ousted president be tried on charges of corruption and abuse of power during his eight-year rule.

In another development, the caretaker administration moved today to drastically toughen the punishment for illegal possession of weapons, raising the maximum sentence from three years to life in prison.