Sri Lankans arrested in India remanded

The JMFC second court in Mangalore, India remanded five of the 13 human traffickers of Sri Lankan Tamilian refugees to police custody on Tuesday.

Mangalore city police who busted the first instance of human trafficking from Karnataka shore on Saturday had sought the custody of these accused for further interrogation.

The court on Monday had posted for orders a plea by police for their custody. The accused should be produced before the court at 11am on Thursday.

Those remanded into police custody are Dinesh Kumar, 27, of CR camp in Paramathiveloor taluk in Nammakal, Thavarassa, 46, of Okkaveelbeed, Tulkai in Sri Lanka, a former LTTE soldier, Yakoob, 40, of Kuniyamuthur of Coimbatore, Saleem of Gramini Street, Valajapet in Vellore district and Shahjahan, 33, of Koyyamarkad of Kanjikod post, Palakkad district. Last named among the accused is the only Indian among 13 of the arrested agents.

These five are the ones who played an important role in arranging local logistics for Sri Lankan Tamilian refugees and the exact role played by each of them needs to be ascertained in depth, city police officials said.

Pratap Reddy, inspector general of police (Western Range) and stand-in city police chief said police will map the role of these accused in planning the operation and any help they might have got locally. The remaining eight traffickers are in judicial custody.

In a related development, Madhava Suvarna of Chitrapura, owner of Sri Raksha, the boat in which the traffickers planned to take the refugees to Australia, failed to obtain bail.

City police arrested Madhava on Monday . Police who performed a mahazar of the boat on Tuesday recovered five bags each containing 25 kg of rice, pulses, a tin of pickles and vegetables. (Times of India)