India sends 53 tonnes of relief material for displaced refugees in Bangladesh

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Dhaka: India on Thursday sent 53 tonnes of relief materials to Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar, who poured into Bangladesh following the ethnic violence in the neighbouring Buddhist-majority nation.

The first consignment of India’s assistance comes days after Dhaka briefed New Delhi about the problems faced by it due to the influx of these refugees.

Bangladesh High Commissioner in New Delhi Syed Muazzem Ali had met foreign secretary S Jaishankar last week and discussed the issue of Rohingyas in detail.

Rohingya Muslim girl Afeefa Bebi holds her few-hours-old brother at a community hospital in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. AP

“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,” external affairs ministry in New Delhi said in a statement.

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, it said.

“Operation Insaniyat: High Commission handed over 1st consignment humanitarian assistance by India to Bangladesh,” the mission tweeted.

“1st consignment of #Indian humanitarian assistance of 53 MT for #Bangladeshi arrives under Operation #Insaniyat @SushmaSwaraj,” it said.

India will provide 7,000 tonnes of relief materials to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh’s road transport minister Obaidul Quader received the materials from Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla after an Indian aircraft carrying the assistance landed at southeastern port city of Chittagong.

The mission said Quader likened the aid to India’s assistance to Bangladesh during the 1971 Liberation War.

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 25 August 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.



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