Naam Tamizhar founder-leader Seeman too have alleged yesterday that Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu are mostly ill-treated, harassed and tortured.
Sri Lankan Tamil refugees fled for Tamil Nadu hoping they might be treated with honor and dignity in Tamil Nadu, an Indian state with some 65million Tamils.
Unfortunately, those Lankan asylum seekers are quartered in 110 'cattle shed' like camps and treated like inhuman-beings by the state government officials, as well as by the police.
According to reports, the Tamil Nadu Q branch police are running an illegal detention camp in Chengalapattu. Currently nearly 28 refugees are ‘imprisoned’ in the camp and invariably all of them face the common charge of entering India without a passport.
Overall, the Chengalpattu refugee camp is neither functioning as a prison run in accordance with human rights laws, nor as a refugee camp where rights are guaranteed.
Rather it’s clear that it is functioning as an illegal detention camp. These refugees are neither treated by the international Refugee law (UNHCR), nor by the Indian Penal Code.
Some of these refugees in the Chengalpattu camp went to India seeking asylum some 20 years ago. Cases have been registered against them also for the same reason after May,2009. The high court of Tamil Nadu has dismissed the charges against 7 of these refugees and has ordered their immediate release.
But these refugees are being illegally detained in these prisons. Apart from this, fabricated cases of thieving, smuggling of weapons and drugs have also been registered against some of the refugees. Even though the police have no evidence against these refugees, the case has been adjourned whenever it comes for the hearing.
The refugees are not allowed to leave the camp. They are given 70 rupees per day for food and upkeep, with which they are expected to buy the necessities to cook their daily food by themselves. In case of any medical emergency, they are taken to the hospitals escorted by 4 police men.
Recently Tamils in Germany demonstrated in front of the Indian High Commission conveying solidarity with the Lankan Tamil refugees who are illegally detained in the Chengalpet ‘special camp’, and demanded India to close “such inhuman detention facilities and treat the Tamil refugees like others, who have entered its territory for sanctuary from persecution” and urged the UN to compel India to adhere to the standards of the UNHCR.