Indian plan for military ‘intervention’ in Maldives in place
India is standing by for some form of military intervention or to provide military assistance in civil defence in case the Maldives government seeks it.
The Indian government appears to have prepared a contingency plan for some form of military intervention in Maldives in the event that the new President Dr Mohammed Waheed seeks it – and to fly deposed president Mohamed Nasheed out of the country to ensure his safety and well-being.
According to reports, a Defence Crisis Management Group made up of the operational wings of the Indian army, navy and air force has been placed on standby. An amphibious briage under 54 Division will lead the operations if required.
A decision to intervene militarily will require the government to take a political call on the unfolding situation, which has taken a dire turn in the past 24 hours, after police cracked down on street demonstrations by supporters of deposed president Nasheed, who too was beaten on Wednesday and for whom an arrest warrant has been issued.
It was not immediately clear if an Indian intervention would only be in aid of civil defence or would have a wider military significance – or whether it would be a military drill. India has thus far scrupulously refrained from taking sides, unlike in 1988, when it rushed to the then President Gayoom’s defence when he faced an armed invasion by a Sri Lankan militant group.
Nasheed’s wife and children, meanwhile arrived in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. Nasheed himself remains in Male, and has said he will court arrest if police came for him.
On Thursday, the newly sworn in Maldives President Dr Mohammed Waheed spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh – and during the telephone conversation reaffirmed the special ties that his country shared with India, and held out the assurance that he was committed to upholding the Constitution and the rule of law.
Singh, in turn, said that India stood ready to provide any support or assistance that the people of Maldives might require.
For more on the latest, follow CNN-IBN chief national correspondent Sumon K Chakraborti, who leaves for Male soon.
Other Twitter resources to follow:
Minivan News, an independent news outlet in the Maldives
Raajje News, which is critical of the deposed president Nasheed.
FarahDidi, who resigned as Maldives' High Commissioner in London to protest the ouster of Nasheed
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