By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on January 26, 2012:
CHENNAI: Seeking Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s intervention for their immediate release, 29 Sri Lankan Tamil inmates now lodged in Chengalpet Special Detention Camp have began their indefinite hunger strike pressing their demand to allow them to live with their family members in normal refugee camps.
According to information trickling out of the camp, 29 inmates have began their indefinite fast since Tuesday morning demanding the government to allow them to live with their families in other refugee camps.It is learnt that the fast was an outcome of government’s repeated betrayals on their promise to shift inmates from the special detention camp in Chengalpet to other normal camps.Those on fast include Krishnalingam, Vikramasingam, Selvam, Sudhakaran, Jagan and Kannan, who were detained at the special camp for more than 18 months now, in connection with petty cases. After completing legal formalities and interrogation, the government used to release Lankan inmates from the camp in groups every three months.When these 29 Lankan inmates sat for a token fast in the first week this month, higher officials from the Q Branch met them and promised to release a batch of them around Pongal.However, it did not happen as promised, and the inmates launched a fresh fasting agitation on Tuesday. Besides sending appeals to all top official involved in manning the Special Detention Camp, the inmates also sent a detailed appeal to Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to consider their plea with a kind heart.