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Sri Lankan refugee caught after escape from TN camp

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A 43-year-old Sri Lankan refugee, who escaped from the Chengalpet special camp in Tamil Nadu with the help of two previous offenders, was caught in a village in Ramanathapuram district when he attempted to escape to Sri Lanka.

Police said the refugee had made friends with the offenders when they were all in Central Prison, Puzhal last year and planned his escape. He had escaped illegally to Sri Lanka twice earlier.

Gunaraja (43) of Colombo and two previous offenders Bakyaraj of Trichy and Gothandaraman of Chengalpet were nabbed at a fishermen village near Thondi town, Ramanathapuram district on Friday when he attempted to illegal escape to Sri Lanka. All three were detained under the foreigners’ Act.

Police said Gunaraja, who had many aliases, including Patturaja and Iqbal, was detained in the Chengelpet special camp along with 37 others. On February 20, he was brought to the Government Hospital, Chengalpet after he reportedly complained of pain in his knee. Sub-inspector Murugan had accompanied him.

While waiting to buy medicines in the hospital, Gunaraja allededly told the SI that he could not stand as his legs were aching and convinced the cop to stand in the queue instead. As the SI fell for it, Gunaraja ran out of the hospital premises and fled along with two men, who were waiting for him on a bike. The police began searching and based on information provided by the Q Branch, more than a week later, Gunaraja was traced and caught in a fishermen village in Ramanathapuram district along with Bakyaraj and Gothandaraman. It was the same village from where he had escaped to Sri Lanka in 2007 after getting bail and staying in the camp.

Police said Gunaraja was in Puzhal prison in 2012 after he was arrested in connection with a theft case in Sivagangai district. There he befriended Bakyaraj, who was held for various crime cases, and Gothandaraman, held for ganja peddling.

Even after they left prison, they kept in touch over phone and had planned the escape as he was detained in the special camp. – Express News Service

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