The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) on Wednesday sought Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s intervention in revoking the Centre’s decision to deport three Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, which, it said, was “akin to signing their death warrants”.

Holding the Centre’s orders to deport the refugees Eela Nehru, Soundararajan and Chenthuran as “arbitrary, unfair and against internationally accepted human rights norms” since none of them had committed any crime in India, PUCL national general secretary V. Suresh said that if the refugees were deported back to Sri Lanka, they would face grave risks to their personal safety and lives at the hands of the Sri Lankan police and security forces.

The PUCL pointed out that since the war in Sri Lanka ended in May 2009, the three had been detained on flimsy grounds invoking the Foreigners Act for long periods in the high security special camps for Sri Lankan refugees though to the best of its knowledge none of them had committed any crimes in India against Indians.

The deportation decision contravened Tamil Nadu’s two-decade-old policy on such refugees as well as the Chief Minister’s own assurance that no Sri Lankan Tamil refugee would be forcibly sent back, Mr. Suresh said. The PUCL also feared that carrying out the deportation would leave the entire Sri Lankan Tamil refugee community in the State emotionally traumatised by the betrayal of their faith in the Tamil Nadu government.

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