Australia-bound refugees sent back to TN camps

Australia-bound refugees sent back to TN camps

 The 84 people, including 56 Sri Lankan refugees, who were rescued by the city police before they could be illegally transported to Australia on Friday night, were released and sent back to their native places on Sunday.

Following a detailed interrogation, police confirmed that of the 84 who were detained, 48 were registered Sri Lankan refugees from 18 refugee camps in Tamil Nadu. They comprised 42 men, five women and one child.

There were also eight unregistered Sri Lankan refugees, 21 Tamilians from Tamil Nadu, three Karnataka natives and four Keralites.

A team of police from Tamil Nadu led by Dharmapuri station inspector Srinivasan who had arrived in Mangalore, verified the documents along with the local police and accompanied 77 Tamilians to Tamil Nadu in two buses arranged on Sunday evening. They will be produced before the Commissioner of Rehabilitation in Chennai.

As many as 13 people were arrested on Saturday for allegedly trying to illegally transport the refugees to Australia. They were produced before the magistrate on Sunday. The owner of the boat in which the refugees were to be transported was also detained.

Pratap Reddy, Inspector General of Police (Western Range) and city commissioner in-charge said that the police were tracking the history of the accused and pooling information on similar human trafficking cases attempted earlier.

Reddy said that the police report would also mention the pathetic condition of refugee camps that forced the refugees to make an attempt to escape to Australia. “The report will be submitted to all agencies concerned including the Central government, Karnataka government, Tamil Nadu government and TN police,” he said.