T20 helps expose Indian prisoners' plight
The World T20 championship in Sri Lanka has turned out to be a blessing for 33, Indians including three women, languishing in various Sri Lankan jails. The reporter of a Malayalam daily who reached Colombo on an assignment happened to hear about them, visited the prisoners in jails and exposed their plight.
New Delhi reacted quickly to the report and is initiating steps to bring them back to India. Of the 33 prisoners, seven are from Kerala and the rest from Tamil Nadu. “The Union Government has acted immediately to bring home the Indian prisoners, a majority of them are fishermen,” said Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed.
The minister said that Kerala had filed all the required details of the prisoners, and Tamil Nadu is yet to give particulars. Non-resident Indians Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said that the Indian Ambassador to Sri Lanka has been directed to intervene immediately and ensure their release at the earliest. Under the Indo-Sri Lankan agreement signed in 2010 on exchange of prisoners, they should have been handed over to the Indian authorities long back. But India failed to take any serious steps, said the report.