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Doval visits Dhaka amid rising concerns over Myanmar soldiers seeking refuge in India, Bangladesh

NEW DELHI: Amidst increasing numbers of soldiers who owe allegiance to the Myanmar junta seeking refuge in India and Bangladesh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval made a brief visit to Bangladesh during the just concluded weekend.

Doval was accompanied by senior officials from India and held high-level meetings in Dhaka. He landed there on February 3 and returned on February 4.

Though the reasons for the NSA’s sudden visit to Dhaka have not been made public, speculation is rife that one of the main issues is the rising number of Myanmar regime troops fleeing to both countries.

“Over 700 regime troops have crossed into India since last November after being defeated by the Arakan Army and resistance allies. Nearly 300 of them crossed over to India on January 17 this year,” said a source.

Some of the soldiers have entered Bandukba in Lawngtai district of Mizoram. Most of the soldiers were armed and sought shelter in a military establishment.

Reports suggest that the soldiers were from southern Chin state.

“Junta troops have suffered since Operation 1027 by Brotherhood Alliance on October 27th last year in Shan state. Many of them have surrendered in Rakhine state,” the source added.

Similarly, over 100 soldiers have fled from Rakhine state to Bangladesh to escape intense fighting by the Arakan Army. They are said to have crossed the border from Rakhine State’s Maungdaw Town to Bangladesh’s Bandarban district.

“These armed soldiers entering border areas of India and Bangladesh is a cause of concern for both the countries. The junta has been losing on many fronts within Myanmar. The senior brass of the junta too is feeling threatened,” the source added.

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