In Battle Against Rohingya Insurgents, India Asks Myanmar To Focus On Welfare Of Civilian Population As Well

New Delhi has urged Myanmar to handle the situation in Rakhine State where security forces are fighting Rohingya insurgents with "restraint and maturity".

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In Battle Against Rohingya Insurgents, India Asks Myanmar To Focus On Welfare Of Civilian Population As Well

India says it remains deeply concerned about situation in Myanmar's Rakhine State and outflow of refugees

NEW DELHI: Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Myanmar visit that focused on boosting security and economic ties, India on Saturday expressed its "deep concern" about the situation in Rakhine State where security forces have been engaged in a bloody battle against Rohingya insurgents, forcing thousands of people to flee neighbouring Bangladesh and India.

"India remains deeply concerned about the situation in Rakhine State in Myanmar and the outflow of refugees from that region," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday evening that also urged Myanmar to handle the situation with "restraint and maturity".

New Delhi asked Myanmar to focus on the welfare of the civilian population as well security forces and underlined that it is imperative that violence is ended and normalcy in the State restored expeditiously.
 
The statement also said that PM Modi, during his recent visit to Myanmar, had expressed his concern at the casualties of security forces "as well as other innocent lives".

A joint statement that PM Modi and Myanmar's de factor chief Aung San Suu Kyi issued at the end of the visit did not explicitly refer to the exodus of tens of thousands of people from Myanmar that has remained the focus of global attention.

India also refused to be a part of a declaration adopted at an international conference recently in Indonesia as it carried "inappropriate" reference to violence in Rakhine state from where Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh.

Saturday's statement is the first occasion in weeks where New Delhi has referred to the civilian casualties in Myanmar's fight against Rohingya insurgents over the last few weeks after security forces escalated the operations against them and "the outflow of refugees".

Myanmar's State Counsellor Nobel Laureate Suu Kyi is under international pressure after the exodus of 2.7 lakh refugees from the Rakhine State into Bangladesh, many of them accusing the military of large scale arson. Aung San Suu Kyi's office had dismissed much of these claims as a "huge iceberg of misinformation".

Earlier today, Bangladesh High Commissioner Syed Muazzem Ali stressed on the need for the international community to intervene and put pressure on Myanmar to address the exodus, according to news agency Press Trust of India.

At his meeting with Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, Mr Ali said Bangladesh government was providing shelter to these refugees out of humanitarian considerations but it was putting a lot of pressure on the country.

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