Their desperation to go back home increases with every failed effort. Caught amid Indian red-tape, two Nigerian nationals have decided to go on hunger strike to force the authorities to send them home at the earliest.
The two were arrested in different cases for allegedly peddling narcotic substances and spent a considerable amount of time in Tihar Jail.
After their release, they were sent to the Lampur Detention Centre in Narela in outer Delhi, where foreign nationals convicted of crimes are sent after they have done their time in jail. Here they await deportation, back to their countries.
Collins Anotwi and KC Ogu, both 37, have been awaiting deportation for the past five months. After sending a number of applications to authorities, they have now taken the extreme step of going on hunger strike to force the authorities to sit up and take notice.
“My family is waiting for me to come back home. I have sent letters to everyone, but they seem to have forgotten about us. I am alone here. The only friends I have here are monkeys and dogs, found in abundance in this area,” said Anotwi.
Their inspiration? Five African men and six women from Zambia, Indonesia, Uganda and Thailand who in June last year went on hunger strike after they were not allowed to go back home.
The authorities had to give in after their condition worsened for most of them had even stopped taking their medicines. The two Nigerians have now stopped taking food and water given to them by the Lampur authorities.
“We will not eat till our demands are met. We have been kept like caged animals. All we want is to go back home,” said Ogu. Till now no one from the FRRO has come to meet the two although it had been informed about the hunger strike.