Refugee from Lanka files case over daughter’s death

gavelAn inmate of a refugee camp for Sri Lankan Tamils at Tiruvadavur near Madurai has approached the Madras High Court Bench seeking a direction to the State to pay his family a compensation of Rs.10 lakh for the death of his 11-year-old daughter when the asbestos sheets laid on the roof of their dilapidated house in the camp caved in on May 12 last year.

When the matter came up for admission before Justice R. Mahadevan, he directed a government counsel to take notice on behalf of the Health and Family Welfare Secretary, Commissioner of Refugee Rehabilitation and the Collector, The Hindu newspaper reported.

The writ petition had been filed by S. Athipathi who claimed to be residing in the refugee camp for more than 12 years. The petitioner, father of four children including the girl who died, said that the State Government had established the refugee camp in Tiruvadavur in 2002 by building about 400 houses measuring around 100 square feet each. The camp was filled up by shifting the inmates of another camp at Avaniapuram near here and his family was part of the migration.

The occupants of Tiruvadavur camp faced several problems such as poor quality construction of their houses and absence of safe drinking water. Though several representations were made to the officials concerned to improve the infrastructural facilities, their pleas went unheeded, the petitioner said and claimed that the State was liable to pay adequate compensation for his daughter’s death.