Hinting towards an upswing in the bilateral military ties, India has dispatched a warship to the Maldives in order to undertake a joint surveillance. The warship has been sent to the Exclusive Economic Zone of the island country for patrolling in the area.
As per the reports, two officers and eight sailors from Indian Navy’s elite marine commandoes wing are also present at Maafilhafushi in the Maldives situated 145 kms away from Male. Here these officers will be training the personnel in diving and tactics under an asymmetric warfare exercise named “Ekatha”. It was started on April 28 and will continue until May 15.
Currently, the patrol vessel INS Sumedha is performing an operational turnaround at Male. This also involves training and embarkation of some personnel from Maldives National Defence Forces (MNDF). Followed by this, the warship will undertake the joint surveillance of Exclusive Economic Zone from May 12 to May 15.
It’s important to note that the bilateral ties between the two countries had gone sour when Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared an emergency in the country on February 5. The order was issued in the aftermath of the Supreme Court order to release a group of opposition leaders who were convicted in trials.
The Maldives got so skeptical that it refused to participate in India’s Mega Naval Conclave “Milan” organized at Andaman & Nicobar Islands from March 6 to 13. In fact, the island nation had asked India to take back one of its Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) that was a gift from the Indian government.
Talking about India, it has always stood by the side of the archipelago for several years now. Be it the surveillance of EEZ, the military aid, training or even capacity building; the Indian government has provided every possible aid to the Maldives. Besides, India has also station 6 pilots and more than 12 ground personnel in the island nation to help the Maldives National Defence Force operate the advanced light helicopters.