TIRUVANNAMALAI: Inmates of the special camp for foreigners in Cheyyar launched a hunger protest demanding the release of a 33-year-old Nigerian youth, who was reportedly mentally ill, on Saturday night. The protest ended around 4 pm on Sunday after the officials shifted him out of the camp.
Sources said, Chichozie, a Nigerian, was shifted from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) in Kilpauk in Chennai to the camp around 10 pm on Saturday. On learning about Chichozie, the inmates at the camp objected to him being lodged in the camp as he would pose a threat to their safety and their family members.
The Puzhal police had filed a case against Chichozie on December 17, 2012, for not having a passport and valid documents. He was remanded in Puzhal Prison. “After learning that the Nigerian was mentally ill, he was let out from the prison campus. However, he continued to stay in front of the prison campus. The police invoked a PT warrant against the youth and arrested him,” said an official. Chichozie was admitted in the IMH. After he showed signs of improvement, he was shifted to the prison. On hearing a habeas corpus writ on September 17, the Madras HC ordered the police to lodge the Nigerian in special camp.
However, the inmates agitated and entered into an argument. “We have decided to observe fasting until the officials take Chichozie from the camp,” said one of the 36 inmates. The DSP of Cheyyar, C Ravichandran entered into a heated argument with the inmates. The protest continued till Sunday afternoon. Tahsildar of Cheyyar G S Gopalswamy held a talk with the inmates and after the officials agreed to move Chichozie out, the other inmates ended their fast at 4.15 pm on Sunday.