Fifteen Sri Lankan Tamils arrested by the Kollam police on June 3 after busting a human trafficking racket and later released from judicial custody on August 17 were to be deported to Sri Lanka from the Thiruvananthapuram airport today, an Indian newspaper reported.

Though they were released from judicial custody, the court had made it clear that they were not free and would be lodged at Gandhi Bhavan, a charity home at Pathanapuram, till completion of the formalities for their deportation. They were not permitted to leave the charity home premises.

District Collector P.G. Thomas said on Friday that the formalities for their deportation had been completed by the Sri Lankan High Commission in Chennai. The Collector directed the police to transport them to the Thiruvananthapuram airport early Saturday morning and hand them over to the emigration authorities.

They were part of a group of 151 Sri Lankan Tamils, including women and children, who were about to be smuggled out in a crude fishing boat to Australia.

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