TIRUVANNAMALAI / VELLORE: Sri Lankan Tamil Chenthuran (alias) Murugan (32), who was observing a fast-unto-death demanding the government to hand him and his family over to the United Nations instead of deporting them to Sri Lanka, was arrested by the Cheyyar police on Thursday evening and was shifted to Puzhal Prison in Chennai.
Sources said a team of police personnel, led by the DSP of Cheyyar Ravichandran, arrested Chenthuran from the special camp in Cheyyar around 5 pm on Wednesday. “A case has been registered against him under section 309 of IPC (attempt to commit suicide) in Cheyyar town station. He has been taken to the Judicial Magistrate Court in the town,” said a police official.
He had been observing a hunger protest from Tuesday, demanding the Central and State governments to produce him and his family before the UN and also release the Lankan Tamils lodged in special camps in Tamil Nadu.
“Though the doctors checked Chenthuran this morning (Thursday) and said that he is healthy, the police arrested him, saying that he is trying to end his life by not consuming food. He was forcibly taken from the camp,” said a source in the special camp.
The police can arrest him only if he refuses to drink water during the fast but he is drinking water regularly. The arrest is illegal, the source said and added that he would be remanded in the Central Prison in Vellore.
Chenthuran was detained in the special camp after being arrested under section 3 (2) (e) of Foreigners Act 1946 on March 3. The arrest was made following a GO (SR III/424- 1/2014) from the Home Department of the Tamil Nadu government, to file a case against him under the Foreigners Act.
The case was registered against him to restrict his movement and activities outside the camp. He was lodged in the special camp in Chengalpet. He was later shifted to the special camp in Tiruvannamalai district along with 30 other inmates recently.
The State government had written to the Home Department (Foreign Division) of the Central government to obtain permission to deport Chenthuran last year. The Central government had conveyed its permission in July last year, to deport him to the island nation. The Lankan Tamil filed a legal suit challenging the government’s deportation order. The case was pending before the court.
However, Chenthuran began the indefinite hunger protest putting forth his demand to hand his family and him over to the UN.
It may be recalled that Chenthuran had observed a hunger protest for 34 days from March 7 to April 10 this year, demanding the closure of special camps in the State.