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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

News

Indian claims wrongful detention in Australia
AFP
Sydney, October 24, 2011
First Published: 13:57 IST(24/10/2011)
Last Updated: 13:59 IST(24/10/2011)

An Indian man who came to Australia to study for a masters in engineering ended up in immigration detention and was wrongly kept there for almost 18 months, his lawyer said on Monday.

Prashant Cherkupalli was reportedly picked up by immigration officials after he was found to be working in a bakery without having the right visa to do so in November 2004.

He spent the next 509 days in Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre before his release in April 2006.

"I came to Australia to get a job and get a permit and yeah, to settle down but things have gone wrong for me and I end up in detention where I should not end up," Cherkupalli told ABC Radio.

Cherkupalli remains in Australia, where he has since finished his masters degree, but he took his complaint to the national Human Rights Commission which is yet to make its findings on the case public.

However, his lawyer said that the commission had found that Cherkupalli should not have been detained.

"That detention was found by the Human Rights Commission to be an arbitrary detention," solicitor Tom Mithieux from Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers told ABC Radio, adding that the report made recommendations on an apology and compensation.

The Immigration Department said it was as yet unable to confirm the details or otherwise comment on the case, adding it would respond to the Human Rights Commission report by the end of this week.

Cherkupalli, who is suing the government in the New South Wales Supreme Court for damages, said he had kept his detention secret from his family.

"I was ashamed to tell my parents. I came here to do something and ended up in prison. I spent thousands of dollars from my family," he told The Sydney Morning Herald.


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