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India slams Maldives defence minister’s claim that it carried out unauthorised helicopter landing

It may be recalled that all 88 Indian military personnel stationed across Maldives have returned to India and have been replaced by technical staff since May 10.

Screenshot 2024 05 15 091230NEW DELHI: India has slammed Maldives defence minister Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon’s allegation at a press conference on May 11 that Indian military personnel carried out an unauthorised helicopter landing during the earlier regime under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Indian High Commission in Male said, “Indian aviation platforms in the Maldives have always operated as per agreed procedures and with due authorization from the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF). The specific sortie of 9th October, 2019, referred to in the press conference was taken with their prior approval. The emergency landing at Thimarafushi was necessitated due to an unforeseen exigency, which was carried out after taking necessary on-ground approvals from the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) to ensure the safety and security of the platform and the crew.”

It may be recalled that all 88 Indian military personnel stationed across Maldives, deputed to take care of one helicopter and two Dornier aircraft used for medical evacuation and emergency services, have returned to India and have been replaced by technical staff since May 10.

“In the past five years when I worked in the Parliament, there was an instance where a concern was raised on a flight that operated without authorization. Such flights cannot operate in the present administration,” Maumoon said during the press conference.

The exact dates of the incident were not mentioned. Maumoon also said that the present government has now gained complete command and control of the aircraft.

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