New Delhi: With thousands of Rohingya Muslims crossing over to Bangladesh after being displaced from troubled Rakhine province Myanmar, India has launched massive relief operation under the name Ops Insaniyat to help the neighbouring country to face the humanitarian situation.
“In response to the humanitarian crisis being faced on account of the large influx of refugees into Bangladesh, Government of India has decided to extend assistance to Bangladesh. The relief material consists of items required urgently by the affected people, namely rice, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking oil, tea, ready to eat noodles, biscuits, mosquito nets etc”, the MEA said in an official statement.
The IAF planes were being pressed into service to deliver the urgent consignment of relief material. It would be delivered in multiple consignments, the first tranche of which will be brought to Chittagong by an IAF aircraft today itself.
“India has always responded readily and swiftly to any crisis in Bangladesh, in keeping with the close ties of friendship between the peoples of India and Bangladesh. India stands ready to provide any assistance required by Government of Bangladesh in this hour of need,” said the MEA.
India’s ops Insaniyat comes at time when the UN Security Council has “expressed deep concern” about the situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, where over 370,000 Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee across the border to Bangladesh to escape increasing levels of violence.
In a statement the 15-member council acknowledged the initial attacks on Myanmar security forces but “condemned the subsequent violence,” and called for “immediate steps to end the violence in Rakhine, de-escalate the situation, re-establish law and order, ensure the protection of civilians.”
The relief assistance by New Delhi is likely to ease growing public anger in Bangladesh where the Sheikh Hasina Government is faced with political heat as a fallout of the largest influx of refugees ever since its independence.
Rising public anger in Bangladesh about India’s position and Dhaka’s diplomatic overdrive was largely the reason why New Delhi had to modify its position on the Rohingya issue, to also acknowledge that there is now a refugee crisis.