It has been revealed that India had sought to station its military personnel at the India-funded Police Academy being built in Addu City.
A former member of the Addu City Council, Ibrahim Shukree revealed that India had sought to establish a military presence at the Police Academy even before, with the Indian High Commissioner going so far as to inquire whether the people of Addu would accept it.
Ibrahim Shukree broke his silence on the matter amid Maldivians expressing their concerns regarding the Indian Cabinet’s decision to establish an Indian Consulate in Addu City; a decision that was announced last Tuesday. Taking to social media, Shukree shared details of a meeting held with the former High Commissioner of India to the Maldives, Akhilesh Mishra.
He stated that the former High Commissioner had asked the council “how will the people of Addu react if an Indian military presence is established at the Police Academy being built”, during a meeting held on the 19th of November 2018. The Council had then explained to the High Commissioner that the people of Addu would never agree to or accept such a thing.
“We now know how extensive these plans were. Enough is enough”, said Shukree in his post.
Many Maldivians, as well as opposition political figures, have long expressed their concerns and suspicions about the Police Academy being built with Indian “assistance”. However, the Maldivian government continues to dismiss these concerns as false.
India has already established their military presence in three important regions of the Maldives; Addu City, L. Kahdhoo and HDh. Hanimaadhoo. They justify their presence in Hanimaadhoo by using the excuse of operating the Dornier aircraft “gifted” to the Maldives by India, while maintaining their presence in Addu and Laamu atoll under the guise of operating similarly “gifted” helicopters.
The agreement regarding the helicopters was allowed to lapse during the Yaameen administration, and India was asked to remove their military personnel from the Maldives after refusing to renew the agreement. India turned a blind eye to this and maintained their presence in the country. However, the Solih administration renewed the helicopter agreement upon coming to power. It is also noteworthy that this administration also consistently refuses to reveal the number of Indian military personnel stationed in the Maldives.