Seven Tamil refugees die in Mannar Sea, seven escape

[TamilNet, Sunday, 15 May 2005, 16:47 GMT]
Seven Sri Lankan Tamil refugees of fourteen returning from Ramanathapuram coast in South India to Talaimannar died when their boat capsized in sea due to rough weather Saturday early morning. However seven other refugees escaped by swimming to a nearby sandbank in the Sri Lanka territorial waters. All fourteen left by a boat from Ramanathapuram Friday night around 11 p.m., Mannar legal sources said.

A Sri Lankan Naval craft, which was on its routine patrol, rescued the seven refugees from the sandbank Saturday evening, brought them to the Talaimannar shore and handed them over to the Police, sources said.

Two women of the seven rescued were immediately admitted to the Mannar government hospital as they suffered from dehydration and exhaustion. The rest including four men and a boy were produced in the Mannar magistrate court Sunday.

Acting Magistrate Mr.M.M.Saburudeen ordered two of the four men to be remanded till May 27 and ordered others to be released. The two women now warded in the hospital are to be produced in court Monday, legal sources said.

Mr.Muttiah Ganesh (32), one of the survivors said that one of the seven died when the boat capsized was his fifty three year old father Shanmugavel Muthiah who was the father of five children.

A father, mother and their child also died in the boat mishap, he said.

 

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