ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Shadow Prison(s) in Tamil Nadu

Over a period of more than 20 years, successive state governments of Tamil Nadu, even as they have claimed to be politically in favour of the Tamil Eelam cause, have continued to maintain horrid “special camps” for certain Tamil Eelam refugees, one of which is still in existence. This is an account of the awful conditions and the wide-ranging violations of the rights of the inmates of these camps.

The Tamil Nadu government is host to many refugees from Sri Lanka and Tibet. Yet, it is the Eelam Tamils from the island that dominate the refugee scene in the state. Tamil Eelam refugees, though concentrated in Tamil Nadu, also live in Kerala and other states of India in smaller numbers. (Tamil Eelam is a proposed independent state for Tamils in Sri Lanka.)

These Tamil Eelam refugees are categorised into three types—non-camp refugees, open camp refugees, and “special camp” refugees. Non-camp refugees are people with sufficient resources to live on their own in rented places. They have received little attention from activists, researchers or the media, perhaps justifiably. Open camp refugees live in more than a hundred camps scattered across Tamil Nadu. These camps have received some attention, the conditions therein described in terms ranging from inadequate to horrid. This article intends to throw some light on the so-called special camps, which have received very little attention.

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Updated On : 3rd Apr, 2017
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