A Sri Lankan Tamil refugee lodged in a special camp at Chengelpet has been on hunger strike for the past four days demanding the release of 42 camp inmates. Sasikaran, 21, also attempted suicide a month ago.
“Whenever my family meets me, I feel like going along with them. Everyone in the camp feels the same. I am firm on continuing my protest till our release,” Sasikaran, who went ahead with his fast even after fellow refugee Kandipan opted out, said. He added that Q Branch sleuths attempted in vain to convince him to end his hunger strike.
Sasikaran lived at the refugee camp in Tirupur for about four years before he was arrested on charges of attempting to illegally migrate to Australia in October last. He was then sent to the borstal in Saidapet where he spent two months. “I was shifted to Puzhal prison. After I got bail, they brought me to the camp here,” he said.
Sasikaran, one of the youngest inmates of the camp, also claimed to be of Indian origin. He said his father P Karupaiyya (59) was born in Melapatti village near Usulampatti in Madurai district and went to Sri Lanka on an Indian passport in the 1970s for gunny bag trade. “He spent 20 years there and returned in 1996 during the war as a refugee. I was four years old then. My father has dual citizenship and still possesses an Indian passport. I was born in Jaffna but don’t remember anything about the place as I never went back,” Sasikaran claimed.
He and his family lived with relatives in Tirupur before they were shifted to the camp four years ago when they were trying to get his sister a college seat and authorities found the refugee seal in their documents. “My relatives are all in Madurai, Tirupur and Melapatti village and we still continue to be in touch,” he claimed.(Indian Express)