Indian Troops Even In Civilian Clothes Not Allowed In Maldives, Says President Muizzu

Male: Amplifying his anti-India rhetoric, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu on Tuesday asserted that as of May 10, no Indian military personnel, including those in civilian clothes, will be allowed in his country.

Muizzu’s statement follows arrival of an Indian civilian team in the Maldives, tasked with assuming control of one of the three aviation platforms in the island nation. This was well in advance of March 10 deadline agreed upon by both nations for the withdrawal of Indian military personnel.

Speaking to the residential community of Eydhafushi in Baa atoll during his tour, the President mentioned that his government’s accomplishment in removing Indian troops from the nation has prompted some people to spread rumors to distort the situation, according to a report by news portal

“These people (Indian military personnel) are not departing. They are returning after changing their uniforms into civilian clothing. We must not indulge such thoughts that instil doubts in our hearts and spread lies,” the portal quoted Muizzu, widely regarded as a pro-China leader, as saying.

“There will be no Indian troops in the country from May 10. Not in uniform and not in civilian clothing. The Indian military will not be residing in this country in any form of clothing. I state this with confidence,” he said, on the day after signing an agreement with China to receive complimentary military assistance.

Following a high-level meeting in Delhi between both parties in early February, the Maldivian foreign ministry announced that India would replace its military personnel stationed at the three aviation platforms in the Maldives by May 10. The initial phase of this transition was slated for completion by March 10.

Eighty-eight military personnel are stationed at the three Indian platforms, which have been delivering humanitarian aid and conducting medical evacuations for the people of the Maldives over the past few years, utilising two helicopters and a Dornier aircraft.

Muizzu, who came to power last year on anti-India stance, demanded removal of Indian personnel from the strategically positioned archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

The initial troops slated for departure from the country are the Indian military personnel overseeing the two helicopters in Addu City. Additionally, the military personnel stationed in Haa Dhaalu atoll’s Hanimaadhoo and Laamu atoll’s Kahdhoo are also expected to depart prior to May 10. India had consented to withdraw their troops from the Maldives under the condition that an equal number of their civilians would be brought in to operate the aircraft.

Meanwhile, local media reports have indicated that the Maldives has effectively collaborated with Sri Lanka to facilitate medical evacuation flights last week. This further underscores its determination to remove all Indian troops, regardless of their category.

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