More than ten inmates of the Sri Lankan refugee camp at Chengalpattu in Kancheepuram district in Tamil Nadu are on an indefinite hunger strike seeking a transfer to ‘open camps’.
‘Q’ Branch and Revenue Department sources told Express that the refugees were on the sixth day of their hunger strike. The sources said the demands have been forwarded to the collector, who will later forward it to the government. Interestingly, apart from those seeking to shift to open camps from the detention camp, there are many in the Chengalpattu facility who wish to go back to Sri Lanka ever since the end of the ethnic war.
Fifty-five-year-old Sadasivam is one of the six inmates who have sent petitions seeking permission to go back to Sri Lanka. He is also taking part in the hunger strike seeking transfer to open camps. Sadasivam told Express that said that he longs to go back to Lanka after spending 14 years in India. Sadasivam, who was picked up from Velankanni, has spent six months in Tiruchy jail and over an year at Chengalpattu camp.
“I had a hotel in Colombo, which was sealed by the Sri Lankan government on suspicion for harbouring LTTE militants. Somehow, I got bail and my wife left for Trincomalee and I came to India,” the father of two said.