Tamil repatriates in India face uncertain future

Lawrence said Katchal Islands had one school and higher education was available only in Port Blair.“We are 24 hours away from Port Blair and most of the families are so poor to afford hostel facilities for their wards,” he said.“The Tamils also lack health facilities. All that you will get there is medicine for fever. If you have stomach ache, you have to take a helicopter to Port Blair for treatment. Helicopter fare costs Rs 4,000 per head. But constant rain affects helicopter service. A ship travels between Port Blair and Katcal Islands once a week,” said Mayakrishnan, one of the members of the association. “Even though the Calcutta High Court had ordered the Andaman and Nicobar Island administration to evolve a scheme to resettle us in a non-tribal area in 2012, no effort has been taken to implement the order,” said G.D. Lawrence, joint-secretary of the Katchal Tamil Settles Youth Welfare Association here on Monday. He is one of a handful of graduates from the community. “My classmate died during child delivery as there was no medical facility. How long can we suffer? What prevents them from resettling us in non-tribal area as it settled around 50 families in Hutbay islands with five acres of land and other facilities,” Mr Lawrence asked. “Now they are witnessing upward mobility, thanks to reservation policy well integrated with the local Tamils. A boy from the community has become an IAS officer,” he said. Settled on tribal lands in Katchal Islands in Andaman and Nicobar in India and kept away from the outside world’s attention, 161 plantation workers of Tamil families face an uncertain future, The Hindu newspaper reported.They were unable to undertake any economic activities on the land as the tribal community had sought reclamation of the land and resources after tsunami wreaked havoc on the island in 2004. “Now our family has grown into 226. So we just want two acres of land, a house and employment for one family member. The administration is responsible for our present situation because it settled us despite the fact that there is no scope for permanent settlement for us there,” he said.A total of 48 families of Indian origin were settled in the tribal areas of the island under a pact signed between then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Srimao Bandaranayke in 1964. At the time of settlement between 1974 and 1976, they were given half an acre of land, a single bedroom house and employment for two members of a family in the rubber plantation on daily wages. Sri Lankan expert V. Suryanarayan said when it came to settlement of plantation Tamils, the policy of the Indian government was ill conceived.“When they arrived in Tamil Nadu, they were given business loan. But they were not capable of using the money and they ended up as bonded labourers in Kodaikanal and daily wage labourers to the Badaga landlords in Kothagiri in Nigiris,” he said.Some of them were absorbed in the State-owned TANTEA. Instead, the administration had formulated a scheme under which they were given a tsunami model house on a 200 square metres of land. Whereas in 2003, the administration had promised to allot 4.5 acres land, a two-bed room house and employment for two members of the family for five to six years in a rubber plantation, Mr. Lawrence said. read more

Police to tackle groups of youths gathering on Londons streets amid very worrying

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The rising wave of violent crime meant the number of suspected murders in March was higher than that of New York.It emerged on Thursday that the Met has opened 55 murder investigations in London this year and there were six non-fatal stabbings from Thursday night into Friday morning in the capital.Sergeant Paul Perversi, of the Metropolitan Police’s Territorial Support Group, said: “With what’s happening in the last week, we are seeing more and more groups of youths going around and congregating at the hotspots. An officer on the front line of London’s knife-crime policing has vowed to stop groups of youths congregating in hotspots and creating trouble.It comes as Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the spate of violence in the capital was “very worrying”, but that the force had not lost control of the capital’s streets.She also said she anticipated further arrests and charges in the five murder investigations launched in recent days.Her comments came after a 30-year-old man was arrested in Hackney over the murder of Tanesha Melbourne-Blake, 17, who was gunned down in Tottenham on Monday.The teenager was killed in a drive-by attack as she sat chatting with friends in a killing that shocked the capital. It came as the unit patrolled the streets of east London, responding to calls including a man armed with a knife in the street and an attempted robbery by a masked gang.On Friday afternoon a section 60 order, granting police stop and search powers across the Borough of Newham, was announced in response to an incident where a 13-year-old boy was stabbed in Gainsborough Avenue on Thursday.The order remained in place until 6am on Saturday.Speaking after a walk through Stoke Newington, in north London, on Friday, Ms Dick said: “Over the last three months and in particular in the last several days, we have had a unusual spike in horrible homicides, ghastly events, that have taken people’s lives and devastated other people’s lives.”This is not an unprecedented time, but it is a very worrying time.” Officers said they are keeping an open mind about the attack, and at this stage there has been no suggestion that the two killings are linked.On Friday two more youngsters were stabbed, with police being called to the Whitgift Shopping Centre in Croydon at 5.17pm.One male aged in his late teens or early 20s, and a 16-year-old boy were found suffering from stab injuries. She defended the Met’s record of bringing criminals to justice and said she believed the perpetrators of the recent killings would face the courts.Just 30 minutes after Tanesha was killed, 16-year-old Amaan Shakoor was shot in Walthamstow and died in hospital the following day. “We will stop them, we have been utilising that power – but we have been using it proportionally”Personally on our beat we are finding more weapons.”last_img read more