By G Saravanan and U Tejonmayam
Chennai, September 24: WITH the indefinite fast by the 40-odd Sri Lankan Tamils languishing in the government- run special camp at Chengalpet entering the fifth day on Thursday, the health of at least six of them has deteriorated and they are in dire need of medical attention, sources say. No official has met the agitators till Thursday evening.
In a related development, over 12 inmates of the Poonamallee special camp began a copycat strike on Wednesday. The Chengalpet special camp inmates began their fast-unto-death agitation on Sunday demanding early release.
According to sources, Sivakaran, Seelan, Sivaraman, Jayakumar, Muthu and Ilankainathan are on the verge of collapse. However, the inmates are reluctant to withdraw their agitation without a solution to the issue.
In July-end, the camp authorities had released a group of inmates after a similar hunger strike and assured that another batch would be freed within a month’s time. But the promise remained unfilled, forcing the inmates to go launch a fresh agitation.
“We pray to the State government and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to consider our plea on humanitarian grounds and redress it once and for all,” one of the inmates told Express over phone.
The Poonamallee camp inmates, in a signed statement on Thursday, demanded that they be shifted out of the camp and the cases against them be pursued in accordance with the Indian law and not under the Foreigners Act.
An official of the Q Branch confirmed that their strike had entered the second day but refused to provide further details. Out of the 12 who are on fast, six Lankan Tamil men were shifted to the special camp in 2008, from Madurai and Puzhal prison following various cases against them.
Six others were brought to the camp as they were thought to be LTTE supporters.