No Indian troops after May 10, says Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has once again said that Indian military personnel will not be present in the island nation after May 10, as per a local portal.

“There will be no Indian troops in the country come 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

The Maldives president’s remarks come on a day when Maldives signed an agreement with China to receive free military aid.

Muizzu said that people who spread false rumours are trying to twist the situation.

“That these people (Indian military) are not departing, that they are returning after changing their uniforms into civilian clothing.

We must not indulge such thoughts that instill doubts in our hearts and spread lies,” the portal reported.

He made the statement after the opposition started criticising the Muizzu government asserting that the Indian personnel sent to Maldives as civilians are in reality military officials out of uniform.

A group of civilian personnel from India arrived in the Maldives on February 28 to assume control of one of the three aviation facilities in the country, in accordance with the March 10 deadline set by both nations for the withdrawal of Indian military forces.

Muizzu had announced in his maiden address to Parliament on February 5 that the first group of Indian military personnel will be sent back from the island nation before March 10.

There are 88 military personnel manning the three Indian platforms that have been providing humanitarian as well as medical evacuation services to the people of the Maldives.

As per local media reports, Maldives successfully tied up with Sri Lanka to run flights for medical evacuation last week, indicating that it is bent on removing all Indian troops.

Highlighting that securing true independence is a concept he regards with utmost priority, Muizzu said that efforts are on with due importance “to regain the southern maritime area deprived of the country in addition to expelling Indian troops from the Maldives”.

“I am confident we can achieve this.

The delay in concluding this task is due to the adverse procedures practiced during the implementation.

It was done without even taking the matter to the parliament … in violation of the Constitution as well,” a portal quoted the Maldives President as saying.