Staff Correspondent, Chittagong: Indian relief has reached Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong for Rohingya refugees who fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
The consignment weighing around 53 tonnes arrived on a special aircraft of the Indian air force on Thursday afternoon.
Bangladesh’s Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader received the relief materials from Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla after the Indian aircraft carrying the assistance landed at southeastern port city of Chittagong.
While receiving the relief materials, Obaidul Quader said India extended its assistance towards Bangladesh when the country fell into crisis. The neighbouring country India had earlier stood beside Bangladesh during such crisis, for example, during the Liberation War in 1971.
"We praise Bangladesh government for its effort to ensure food, cloth and shelter for the refugees. Bearing such a huge burden is a challenge indeed," the Indian High Commissioner said.
The relief materials included rice, lentil, biscuit, salt, sugar, soap, mosquito nets and powder milk.
Bangladesh is now facing a big influx of Rohingya from Myanmar and has called on the international community to intervene and put pressure on Myanmar to address the exodus.
According to the UN estimates, over 379,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state into Bangladesh since August 25 when a fresh wave of violence erupted.
According to media reports, the violence began when Rohingya militants attacked police posts in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state.
Rohingya residents — a stateless mostly-Muslim minority in a Buddhist-majority nation — allege that the military and Rakhine Buddhists responded with a brutal campaign against them, according to the reports.
Bangladesh had earlier said the new influx of Rohingya refugees is an unbearable additional burden on the country which has been hosting around 400,000 Myanmar nationals who had to leave their country in the past due to communal violence and repeated military operations.
risingbd/Chittagong/Sept 14, 2017/Rubel/Amirul