Karnataka: HC notices to state, Centre on illegal detention of Sri Lankans

The investigation had shown that the Sri Lankans did not enter Indian territory illegally but through an agency after promising them a job in Canada.

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has issued notices to the state and central governments in connection with the illegal detention of 38 Sri Lankan nationals in the central prison here.

A division bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Vishwajith Shetty gave the order on Monday on a plea challenging the lodging of Sri Lankans in the Central Prison of Parappana Agrahara in Bengaluru.

It also directed to issue notices to the Union Home Ministry, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), State Home Ministry, Inspector of Mangaluru South Police Station and Bengaluru District Commissioner.

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The Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) had sought before the court to arrange for a detention facility with infrastructure to shift the Sri Lankan nationals who are lodged in prison. The authority had also pleaded to extradite the Sri Lankan nationals within the time frame fixed by the court.

The PIL further demanded that the court give immediate order to shift Sri Lankan nationals to be shifted from prison to detention centre. It also submitted to give direction to the Bengaluru Urban District Commissioner to establish a detention centre as per the directions of the NIA Special Court on October 30, 2021.

It also pleaded to record the statements of Sri Lankan nationals before the NIA court.

Mangaluru South police carried out an operation on June 10, 2021, and detained 25 Sri Lankan nationals who were staying in Sea Port Guest House of Mangaluru without documents.

The NIA court which was looking into the case ordered the dropping of charges against Sri Lankan nationals and directed the authorities to shift them to detention centres from the prison.

The investigation had shown that the Sri Lankans did not enter Indian territory illegally but an agency after promising them a job in Canada was trying to transport them through India.

During the recent inspection of the visit of the Member Secretary of the KSLSA, it had come to light that a total of 38 Sri Lankan nationals were lodged illegally in the prison. The KSLSA has explained that this is a violation of the order of the NIA court and human rights.

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