Eighteen Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, including a pregnant woman, have reached Tamil Nadu’s coastal town of Rameswaram.
Now, the total number of refugees from Sri Lanka who have reached Indian shores stood at 60.
The island nation is reeling under a severe economic crisis and people are leaving the country to save themselves from poverty and penury.
The 60 people arrived Rameswaram in eight batches on different days and most have paid a fortune to board small fishing boats from the Gulf of Mannar in Sri Lanka.
The 18 people reached Rameswaram in two batches. The first batch that reached the Indian shores comprised 13 people, including the pregnant woman and a one and half year old child.
According to coastal police officers, they commenced their journey from the Mannar region in Sri Lanka on Thursday morning and reached India by night.
The second batch comprised five Sri Lankan Tamils and they also arrived at Arichal Munai at Dhanushkodi near Rameswaram on Thursday night.
All the 18 persons were questioned at the Marine police station and later lodged at the Mandapam refugee camp.
Sources in the Marine police said that another batch of Sri Lankan Tamils are in the sea and they are reportedly from the northern Jaffna area.
Police said that fishermen from Dhanushkodi and Rameswaram had informed the police of their presence and that they are verifying the claims.