Tamil Nadu

Two-year jail for five Lankan Tamils

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They clandestinely arrived in Dhanushkodi with their five children in May

The local Judicial Magistrate court has convicted and awarded two years imprisonment to five Sri Lankan Tamils, including two women, who had clandestinely arrived in Dhanushkodi with their five children in May, seeking refugee status.

After completion of the trial on Tuesday, Magistrate Saravanakumar held them guilty under the Passport Rules and Foreigners Act and awarded one-year imprisonment, each under the two acts. The Magistrate, who imposed a fine of Rs.100 each on the five accused, said they could serve the sentence concurrently (one year only).

The Lankan Tamils were present in the court with their five children when the judge pronounced the order. After the verdict, they were taken to Chennai and lodged in Puzhal central prison, Q branch police said.

While two children, who were aged below 10 years were allowed to stay with their mothers, three other children were sent with the mother of one of the accused, the police said.

Alleging that they feared for their lives after the Sri Lankan forces “intensified” search operations in Tamil areas, suspecting revival of the LTTE, the Lankan Tamils had arrived on May 5 in two batches from Mannar in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province by engaging two boats.

As they could not be given refugee status, the Dhanushkodi police arrested them under Section 3(a), read with 6(a), of the Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950, and Section 14 of the Foreigners Act.

K. Sudhakaran, 35, who had served in the LTTE for four years till 2000 and hailed from Mullaithivu, arrived with his wife S. Ramekka (32), 13-year old daughter, and seven-year-old son, while S. Thayapararaja, 33, a computer engineer of Jaffna, came in another boat with his wife Uthayakala, 12-year-old son , and six and four-year-old daughters.

They were accompanied by S. Thevendran, 34, a driver from Mullaithivu.

After securing bail, the three men were staying in the special camp at Cheyyar in Thiruvannamalai district, while the two women were staying in the Mandapam refugee camp with their children, Q branch police said.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2018 2:17:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/twoyear-jail-for-five-lankan-tamils/article6765989.ece

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