Though there were reports about the stranded refugees being spotted in Diego Garcia, an island near the Maldives two weeks ago, there is no confirmation on their identities so far, police sources said.
It is believed that the Lankan refugees had taken off from Kerala coast in an illegal ferry in the first week of October this year to Canada, hoping to get asylum there.
They were reportedly crossing the Indian Ocean to reach South Africa in their first leg of sea voyage. As per the reported travel plan, from South Africa, they would further go to Canada via sea on an illegal ferry.
“So far there is no information on their status. The Tamil Nadu police had alerted Interpol following unconfirmed reports about them being spotted at Diego Garcia. But there is no news officially,” sources noted.
There were many incidents of refugees taking this kind of illegal voyage after paying huge sums to agents and travelling in small vessels trying to reach destinations like Australia and Canada, sometimes getting perished in the sea.
As per government sources, there are around 65,000 Sri Lankan refugees staying in as many as 108 refugee camps in Tamil Nadu.