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TN beefs up security along coast as refugees land from Sri Lanka

The elite ‘Q’ branch of the Tamil Nadu Police has increased security across the coastal areas of the state following the possibility of a huge refugee influx from Sri Lanka in view of the internal crisis in the island nation.

A total of 16 refugees, including children, have landed in the state after being rescued by the Indian Coast Guard and Tamil Nadu Marine Police.

The refugees were produced before a magistrate court which sentenced three adults from the first batch of six Sri Lankan refugees for 15 days of judicial custody. The first batch of Sri Lankan refugees included R. Gajendran (24), his wife Mary Clary (23), their four-month-old son, Nishanth, Duri (28), and her children, Esther (9) and Moses (6).

The court allowed Nishanth and Moses to stay with their mothers while Esther (9) was handed over to her grandmother who is in the Sri Lankan refugee camp at Vellore.

The second group of 10 refugees who reached the shores of India on Tuesday late at night was identified as Sivarethnam (30), his wife Mery Yalini (27), their children, Reshalini (8) and Sindhuja (5), Seythu Mohammed (45), his wife Sivasankankathi (33), and their children, Samila (17), Mujini (15), Mohammed (13) and Bhoomika(8).

All of them are from the Vavuniya district of Sri Lanka and the state government has decided to keep them at the Mandapam refugee camp at Rameswaram.

Jacintha Lazarus, Commissioner for Rehabilitation and Welfare of Non-Resident Tamils while speaking to IANS said, “We have asked the authorities to keep such people at Rameswaram camp and to conduct inquiries at the camp itself.”

It may be recalled that during the Civil war in Sri Lanka more than 1,00,000 people reached India, especially in Tamil Nadu. They are lodged in 107 refugee camps across the state.

The Tamil Nadu Police along with the Indian Coast Guard have beefed up the security at the coastal line to prevent the huge refugee influx and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin has already written to the Government of India regarding the possible crisis.

The state government has also issued special advisories to Tamil Nadu fishermen to immediately inform the authorities if they spot any illegal movement in the sea.

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