Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed Sri Lankan refugees, housed in a special camp at Poonamallee near here, to submit fresh representations to the Tamil Nadu Public Department (SC) Secretary on their request for transferring them to camps at Gummidipoondi or Puzhal.
Passing the order on a petition by Suresh Kumar, one of the inmates, Justice K K Sasidharan said though the inmates were not entitled to any kind of special rights, they were entitled to live like human beings and directed the authorities to consider and dispose of the representations which would be made by the inmates in the camp at Poonamallee on merits.
He said that till a decision was taken by the government over their transfer, the inmates should be permitted to stay at Poonamallee.
The inmates filed a petition in the High Court challenging the state government’s decision to transfer them to a special camp at Tiruchirapalli.
Kumar submitted he suffered severe injuries in his spinal chord when he was arrested by on December 17, last year and said it was not possible for him to live without the help of others.
The Deputy Secretary to Government, Public Department (SC), in his counter, denied the allegation of Kumar and said the petitioner is a "hardcore cadre" of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Kumar worked in the electronic wing of LTTE and suffered injuries during the civil war in Sri Lanka between the armed forces and the rebels and so he was immobilised and bedridden. He was capable of handling laptops and computers, the Deputy Secretary said in his counter.
A total of eight Sri Lankan nationals were accommodated in the Poonamallee special camp and the government had taken a decision to shift them to Tiruchirappalli special camp as the prison officials wanted to use the premises for accommodating borstal inmates of Saidapet Sub Jail, the counter said.
The Judge, while allowing the petition in part, said inmates of the special camp were not prisoners in the strict sense of the term and said they were entitled to certain basic rights and directed them to give a fresh representation to the government requesting to transfer them to nearby camps.