India denies claims by Maldivian govt. on unpermitted operation

Defense Minister Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon speaks at a ceremony. (Photo/President's Office)

India has denied the claims made by Maldivian Foreign Minister Ghassan Maumoon last week, alleging Indian military pilots had carried out an operation in the Maldives without the necessary permits.

The High Commission of India in the Maldives released a statement on Tuesday, stating that Indian aviation platforms in the Maldives have always operated as per the agreed procedures and with due authorization.

On the contrary, while speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Minister Ghassan said he had knowledge of one of the aviation platforms undertaking an unpermitted trip. He went onto detail an incident where one of the Indian-operated helicopters landed in Th. Thimaraushi, allegedly without permission – a case which he said was reviewed by the Parliament’s Committee on National Security Services (241 Committee), when he had been a lawmaker. 

Referencing the remarks by the Minister, the High Commission said the particular incident which saw an emergency landing at Thimarafushi on October 9th, 2019, was “necessitated due to an unforeseen exigency”.

They added that the landing was carried out after taking necessary on-ground approvals from Air Traffic Control (ATC) to ensure the safety and security of the platform and crew.