NTK to hold protest for refugee status to Sri Lankan Tamils reaching TN

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The Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) led by actor-director Seeman is planning a major agitation across the state demanding refugee status to Sri Lankan Tamils who are fleeing the island nation rocked by economic unrest.

In a statement on Monday, Seeman said that the party would conduct protest marches and other public programmes across the state to highlight the issue.

Tamil Nadu Minister Gingi Masthan while speaking to IANS said: “The Tamil Nadu government is taking care of the refugees who have reached the Mandapam camp. Further action will be taken based on the directive from the Union government.

Several organisations have made a beeline to the Mandapam refugee camp where the first batch of 16 refugees from Sri Lanka are housed. MDMKA leader and Member of Parliament Vaiko, NTK leader Seeman and VCK leader and Member of Parliament Thol Thirumalvalavan reached Mandapam and interacted with the families who had reached the state.

However, the state police, including the Tamil Nadu Marine police, are strictly monitoring the coastal line to prevent any illegal influx into the state borders. The Tamil Nadu fisheries department has directed the fishermen to notice movement of any boats into the Indian territory from Sri Lanka as the first batch of refugees who have reached Ramanathapuram told police that they had paid a hefty sum to reach the Indian shores.

During the earlier civil war in Sri Lanka, more than 1 lakh Sri Lankan Tamils have reached Tamil Nadu and are lodged in 107 camps across the state.

With Sri Lanka reeling under financial crisis, the possibilities of more refugees reaching Indian shores cannot be ruled out and intelligence agencies have also reported on the possibilities of a large number of refugees into India, especially Tamil Nadu.

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