Ten Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who were detained by Mangalore police for attempting to flee to Australia reached the Mandapam Camp in the wee hours on Sunday.
Police said that the ten Lankan refugees, including four women and one male child, all belonging to Mannar, had arrived at the Mandapam Transit Camp on different dates. They had applied for leave of absence from the camp two weeks ago citing personal reasons.
The Mandapam Camp authority sanctioned the leave to the ten persons and they left the camp seven days ago. They, however, failed to return. Meanwhile, a few days ago, the Karnataka state police detained a large number of Lankan refugees who were waiting in Mangalore along with their children to be transported to Australia.
After the detention, the Karnataka state police informed their Tamil Nadu counterparts two days ago. The Lankan refugees, who were inmates of different camps, were taken to Hosur. Officials from Mandapam Transit Camp and a team of Q Branch police rushed to Hosur and took custody of the ten refugees. The intelligence personnel conducted an inquiry with them over their alleged attempt to flee to Australia taking a heavy risk. The ten refugees were sent back to their allotted homes after inquiries.
Sources said that the camp authority was conducting roll call twice a month to detect missing refugees but were not able to track or prevent their movements.
The Mandapam Special Deputy Collector was not willing to divulge details of the ten detained refugees and when they moved from the camp.
Since 1983, the government had established more than 100 camps across the State to house Lankan refugees who escaped from the island nation in batches during the long drawn civil war. The State government provided assistance, including rice and monthly toll, to them to help them lead a peaceful life here.
Besides, interested inmates were allowed to work outside the camp to meet their daily expenses.