Man dies after being separated from his family when he was deported from UK, family blames home office

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 - The UK Home Office has been faulted for the death of a Sri Lankan man after he was deported to his home country.

Sudharsan Ithayachandran, 41, who admitted to the use of false documents and working illegally at a British multinational retailer, Tesco, was deported from the UK on December 24, 2019, leaving behind his deaf wife, Subatra; and his two children, aged eight and nine.

According to the UK Guardian on Monday, May 27, his wife and kids are British citizens.

The date of his deportation fell on his wedding anniversary.

The report noted that during an immigration tribunal ruling in November 2023, Judge Bonavero had accepted Ithayachandran’s appeal, noting that he was allowed by right to live with his family in the UK.

However, the Home Office was accused of delaying the process of issuing a return visa to the deceased for several months, causing him to live in perilous conditions, according to a report by the International Justice and Truth project, titled, “Disappearance, torture and sexual violence of Tamils 2015 – 2022.”

Ithayachandran was a member of the Tamil heritage in Sri Lanka.

Before his death, a legal counsel from MTC Solicitors, Naga Kandiah, began judicial review proceedings against the Home Office about the delay in return visa issuance.

However, on May 19, 2024, Ithayachandran was found collapsed at his accommodation in Sri Lanka and died after being taken to the hospital.

His cause of death is thought to be sepsis.

The family blamed the Home Office, saying Ithayachandran was left in deep depression at home, owing to his separation from his children, adding that he was not eating or looking after himself properly.

His mother-in-law, Yasadora Nagendra, 60, described him as “the pillar of the family.”

She said, “I don’t know how the family is ever going to get over this. When he was here, he looked after everybody. He was such a kind and supportive man. Nobody can replace him. I believe that if the Home Office had not deported him he would still be alive today. We blame them for his death.

“He was treated in a very unfair way by the Home Office. He was so depressed that even after he won his case last November, the Home Office delayed making arrangements for his return to the UK. He couldn’t understand why he still had to wait to come back to his family.”

Kandiah stated that “the tribunal accepted our client had a genuine and subsisting relationship with his children and to live without them would be ‘unduly harsh’. He had spent years battling with the Home Office to simply rejoin his family. He finally won his case but died before he could do this.”

On his part, Lou Calvey, the director of a charity organisation, Asylum Matters, said, “Serious questions must be answered about this heartbreaking case. Why was Sudharsan deported when he had such clear rights to remain here? Why did the Home Office delay implementing the court ruling reversing the deportation, and why did he have to die alone without his family?”

An unnamed spokesperson from the Home Office said that “all deportation orders are considered on a case-by-case basis, based on the evidence provided.

“Once an appeal has been allowed against the refusal to revoke a deportation order, the responsibility of applying for entry clearance to the UK lies with the individual and their representatives.”

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