India has sent Bangladesh its second relief consignment under Operation Insaniyat to help tens of thousands of displaced Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar into Bangladesh following military crackdown in violence-hit Rakhine state.
Indian Navy Ship INS Airavat carrying 373-tonne relief consignment sailed from Vishakhapatnam and reached Chattogram port (formerly Chittagong) Port. The second consignment mainly contained 104 tonnes of milk powder, 102 tonnes of dried fish, 61 tonnes of baby food, 50,000 raincoats and 50,000 pairs of gum boots. The relief is in view of specific needs of large number of Rohingya women and children living in camps and onset of monsoon. Another tranche containing 1 million litres of kerosene oil and 20,000 cooking stoves will be sent soon.
Rohingya are stateless ethnic minority (mostly Muslim) from Rakhine province of Buddhist-majority Myanmar, who are forced leave their country due to communal violence and repeated military operations. According to UN estimates, over 6 lakh Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar’s violence hit Rakhine state into Bangladesh since August 2017 when fresh wave of violence had erupted in this province, triggering one of the world’s worst refugee crises.
The violence had started after Rohingya militants belonging to Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (also known as Harakat al-Yaqeen or Faith Movement) had attacked police posts in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state. Following this attack, Myanmar’s military had launched violent crackdown on insurgents from Muslim Rohingya population which led to mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims into neighboring Bangladesh.
Earlier in December 2017, India had announced development assistance of US $25 million for Rakhine state. It also had sent relief materials for 300,000 Rohingyas in September 2017 under ‘Operation Insaniyat’ to support Bangladesh in its humanitarian efforts.