The first group of Sri Lankan refugees have arrived in Tamil Nadu due to the economic crisis and food shortages in the country, the Indian media reported.
The Indian media reports further stated that the two groups comprising 16 each had arrived in Chennai and they are all residents of Mannar and Jaffna.
According to the Indian media, six refugees, including an infant and three children, were rescued by the Indian Coast Guard when they were stranded near an island off the coast of Rameshwaram.
The first group of refugees had reportedly told police that they had paid Rs. 50,000 for a fishing boat to take them to the fourth island of Arichal Munai in Indian waters after suffering for weeks in search of food.
Another 10 refugees had arrived on the Tamil Nadu shores and 08 of their identities have been confirmed. Among this group of refugees were three women and five children, the Indian authorities confirmed.
The Indian Police had told the Indian Express that these refugees are coming to India due to unemployment and shortage of food in Sri Lanka. The Indian Express also reported, citing Indian intelligence sources, that India expects around another 2,000 refugees from Sri Lanka in the coming weeks.
The refugees, who were arrested by the Coast Guard, are to be dealt with under India’s Passport Act of 1967.