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Updated January 21st, 2024 at 06:45 IST

Maldivian Teen's Death Sparks Outcry Over Alleged Denial to Use Indian Aircraft for Evacuation

A Maldivian boy died as the Maldivian Government allegedly denied the use of an Indian Dornier Aircraft for emergency evacuation.

Digital Desk
Maldives National Defence Forces’s Dornier aircraft
Maldives National Defence Forces’s Dornier aircraft | Image:X High Commission of India, Maldives
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Male: A 14-year-old Maldivian boy lost his life on Saturday, reportedly due to President Mohammed Muizzu's alleged denial of approval for using an Indian-provided Dornier aircraft for his airlift, as per local reports. Following his death, people of Villingili came out on the streets, protesting in front of Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Male.

The young boy, who was battling a brain tumor and had suffered a stroke, urgently needed an air ambulance to transport him from his residence in Gaaf Alif Villingili to the capital city, Male, as his condition worsened. Hospital director Shamveel Mohammed explained that despite being ready with treatment arrangements, the delay in the flight is what led to the minor's tragic death.

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Muizzu Ignores Family's Plea for Evacuation

According to reports from Maldivian media, the family claims that authorities failed to arrange a prompt medical evacuation. The father expressed frustration, stating, “We called Island Aviation to get him to Male' immediately after the stroke, but they did not answer our calls. They answered the phone at 8:30 am on Thursday. The solution is to have an air ambulance for such cases.”

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The boy was eventually brought to Male 16 hours after the emergency evacuation request was made, raising concerns about the delayed response to the critical situation.

Technical Problem caused the delay?

A statement from Aasandha Company Limited, which received the emergency evacuation request, explained that they initiated the evacuation process immediately after the request. However, a last-minute technical problem with the flight prevented the planned diversion, leading to unfortunate consequences.

This incident unfolds against a backdrop of recent diplomatic tensions between India and the Maldives, sparked by derogatory comments made by Maldivian ministers towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Maldives MP Meekail Naseem commented on the boy's tragic death, saying, "People shouldn't have to pay with their lives to satisfy the President's animosity towards India."

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Published January 21st, 2024 at 06:36 IST

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