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TN beefs up security across coastal line expecting refugee influx from Sri Lanka

- March 24, 2022

Chennai, March 24 (BPNS)

The elite ‘Q’ branch of the Tamil Nadu police has increased the security across coastal areas following the possibility of huge refugee influx to the state from Sri Lanka following the internal crisis in the island nation.

16 refugees including children have already reached India from the island nation and have been rescued by the Indian Coast Guard and Tamil Nadu Marine police. The refugees were produced before a magistrate court which sentenced three adults from the first batch of six Sri Lankan refugees for 15 days of judicial custody. The first batch of Sri Lankan refugees were R. Gajendran (24) his wife Mary Clary (23), their four-month-old son, Nishanth, Duri (28), and her children, Esther (9) and Moses (6).

The court allowed Nishanth and Moses to stay with their mothers while Esther (9) was handed over to her grandmother who is in the Sri Lankan refugee camp at Vellore.

The second group of 10 refugees who reached the shores of India on Tuesday late night were identified as Sivarethnam (30), his wife Mery Yalini (27), their children, Reshalini (8 ) and Sindhuja (5) ,Seythu Mohammed (45), his wife Sivasankankathi (33), and their children, Samila (17), Mujini (15), Mohammed (13) and Bhoomika(8).

All of them are from Vavuniya district of Sri Lanka and the state government has decided to keep them at the Mandapam refugee camp at Rameswaram.  Jacintha Lazarus, Commissioner for Rehabilitation and Welfare of Non–Resident Tamils while speaking to IANS said, “ We have asked authorities to keep such people at Rameswaram camp and to conduct inquiries at the camp itself.”

It may be recalled that during the Civil war in Sri Lanka more than 1,00,000 people have reached India and especially Tamil Nadu and are lodged in 107 refugee camps across the state.

The Tamil Nadu police along with the Indian Coast Guard have beefed up the security at the coastal line to prevent the huge refugee influx and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin has already written to the Government of India regarding the possible crisis.

The state government has also issued special advisories to Tamil Nadu fishermen to immediately inform the authorities if they spot any illegal movement in the sea.