New Delhi: In a tragic incident, eight occupants of a boat carrying 90 Rohingya refugees—originally from Myanmar but who had sought shelter in Bangladesh—died due to "severe conditions" on board after the boat drifted at sea following engine failure on February 15. India on Thursday evening said that after it learnt of the boat in distress, it “immediately dispatched two coast guard ships to provide food, water and medical assistance to the occupants of the boat”, with “seven of them” being “administered IV fluids”. New Delhi added that it was “in discussions with the Government of Bangladesh to ensure their (survivors’) safe and secure repatriation”.
On Thursday evening, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “From the information we have, on 11 February 2021, a boat sailed from Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh carrying 64 women including 8 young girls and 26 men including 5 young boys. The engine of the boat failed on February 15 and since then it has been drifting. Due to the severe conditions, we understand that 8 occupants have died and one of the occupants has been missing since February 15.”
The MEA added, “When we learnt of the boat in distress, we immediately dispatched two coast guard ships to provide food, water and medical assistance to the occupants of the boat. Seven of them were administered IV fluids. We understand that around 47 of the occupants of the boat are in possession of ID cards issued to them by UNHCR office in Bangladesh stating that they are displaced Myanmar nationals and person of concern to UNHCR registered by the Government of Bangladesh. We are in discussions with the Government of Bangladesh to ensure their safe and secure repatriation.”