New Delhi: India on Thursday extended humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh by flying down food and other essential items to the neighbour to help it deal with the huge influx of Rohingyas who have fled from Myanmar.
The relief material will be delivered in multiple consignments under “Operation Insaniyat”, with the first tranche to be flown to Chittagong by an Indian Air Force plane later on Thursday evening.
The assistance, according to an External Affairs Ministry statement, was extended in response to the “humanitarian crisis being faced on account of the large influx of refugees into Bangladesh”.
Dhaka had earlier sought New Delhi’s help in addressing the problems faced by the Bangladesh government as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have entered that country after fleeing persecution in Myanmar’s restive Rakhine state.
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, the statement said.
“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 the government of Bangladesh in this hour of need,” the statement said.
Bangladesh, which is facing a big influx of Rohingyas from Myanmar,+ has called on the international community to intervene and put pressure on Myanmar to address the exodus.
According to the UN estimates, over 379,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled+ Myanmar’s Rakhine state into Bangladesh since August 25 when fresh wave of violence erupted.
According to media reports, the violence began when Rohingya militants attacked police posts in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state.
Rohingya residents – a stateless mostly Muslim minority in a Buddhist-majority nation – allege that the military and Rakhine Buddhists responded with a brutal campaign against them, according to the reports.
Bangladesh had earlier said the new influx of Rohingya refugees is an unbearable additional burden on the country which has been hosting around 400,000 Myanmar nationals who had to leave their country in the past due to communal violence and repeated military operations.