The Ministry of External Affairs on Monday said that India was deeply concerned about the military coup staged in Myanmar, and was monitoring the situation closely.

“India has always been steadfast in its support to the process of democratic transition in Myanmar,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. “We believe that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld.”

Myanmar plunged into a political crisis on Monday after the country’s military seized power from a government established only five years ago, detaining the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and other senior figures of the ruling National League for Democracy party.

A statement on military-owned television said Senior General Min Aung Hlaing was now in control of the country and that a state of emergency had been imposed for one year. It was also announced that the coup was the result of the government’s failure to delay the November election despite the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The generals made their move hours before the country’s Parliament had been due to sit for the first time since the NLD’s landslide win last year. The November elections were seen as a referendum to Suu Kyi’s civilian government.

Phone lines to the capital Naypyitaw and the main commercial centre of Yangon were not reachable, and state TV went off air. People rushed to markets in Yangon to stock up on food and supplies, while others lined up at ATMs to withdraw cash, reported Reuters. Soldiers took up positions at city hall in Yangon and mobile internet data and phone services in the NLD stronghold were disrupted.

Myanmar was under military rule till 2011, during which Suu Kyi spent many years under house arrest. Ever since the National League for Democracy’s landslide win in November’s election, military leaders have discredited the results with unfounded claims of fraud.

Other countries, leaders express concern

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the detention of Suu Kyi and other political leaders and “urged the military leadership to respect the will of the people of Myanmar,” reported Reuters, quoting a UN spokesperson.

The United States said it was alarmed by the developments, and that President Joe Biden was monitoring the situation closely. “The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition, and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed,” a statement from the White House added.

The Australian government said it was “deeply concerned at reports the Myanmar military is once again seeking to seize control of Myanmar”.

Japan said it was watching the situation and had no plans to repatriate Japanese nationals from Myanmar.

Singapore had “grave” concern about the unfolding situation in Myanmar and urged all sides to work towards a peaceful outcome, its foreign ministry said.