Kerala HC to the rescue of passengers stranded at Walayar

Chaos continue for the second successive day

The situation in Walayar border got worse for Keralites travelling from other states including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andra Pradesh and Telangana, before the news of relief from the Kerala High Court reached them on Sunday evening. Even as the Kerala Government refused to give Keralites from other states entry at the interstate checkpoint on Saturday, Tamil Nadu took initiatives to provide food and shelter to those left in the lurch at the border.

Describing the events that happened on Saturday at the border, Rafeek who travelled from Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu to Kozhikode said, “I managed to get the Tamil Nadu pass for 9th and Kerala pass for 12th May. I won’t be able to travel from Tamil Nadu after 9th which is why I chose to travel to the border before 12th. We contacted the Kerala helpline but they were neither able to provide information about the details of emergency pass nor the government’s plan. Further, the media reported that the process of issuing passes to enter the state has been halted.”

He lost his job and had financial issues. ”I stayed within the four walls of our room for 45 days and managed without a job or money. But things were going beyond control. A few of my friends told they managed to enter Kerala with emergency pass taken from the border and I thought I’ll be able to do the same,” he added.

Pic credit: Balus

On Saturday, Kerala government strictly enforced the decision to not to let anyone enter the state without a pass and it further aggravated the issue at the check post. Later, Keralites were given shelter under the Coimbatore district administration at the Nehru Group of Institutions building at Coimbatore.

”I travelled with my brother and his wife. My brother and wife were given an emergency pass as she is six months pregnant, but I was not given a pass. Later I was taken on a bus to a centre of Nehru Group by Tamil Nadu police at 12 am” says Praveen C M who travelling from Kanchipuram to reach Poonchola, Palakkad District.

On Sunday morning, the officials from Kerala reached the centre at Coimbatore and took the details of the travellers. ”Our details were noted down by the Kerala officials around 11 am. We were told we would be given emergency passes by evening,” says Sathish Kumar, who is travelling from T Nagar, Chennai to Sreekrishnapuram.

Food and basic facilities were provided at the centre by the Tamil Nadu Government. ”We are given a place to stay by the Tamil Nadu Government and are grateful to them. Few of us managed to get beds and the rest slept in halls and in the verandah. We thank the efforts of the Tamil Nadu Government,” concluded Sathish Kumar.

Pic credit: Balus

The stoppage of emergency passes being provided at the help desk at Kerala border made the situation worse. The service at the help desk by volunteers was stopped on Friday and empty counters were witnessed on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court heard an urgent writ petition filed by activist Harish Vasudevan today in a special sitting and directed the Kerala Government to allow the entry of persons who got stranded at Walayar checkpost on Saturday without entry passes, in a relief to the people stuck on the border. The Court further clarified that the direction should not be used as a “precedent” for future cases.

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