By Tom King
A Level student Yashika Bageerathi has been deported by UK authorities on an Air Mauritius flight from Heathrow to Mauritius.
A last minute bid by lawyers to seek an emergency injunction to halt the 19 year old’s deportation was rejected by high court judge Lord Justice Richards who held a hearing over the phone.
Bageerathi, who has been held at Yarls Wood detention centre, has been removed from the UK without her family. In an emotional appearance before the Home Affairs Select Committee of MPs, Bageerathi’s mother said Yarls Wood “It’s not a place for her, it’s a place that is cruel” and pleaded with MPs “just to free her”.
Also appearing before the Committee, the Head Teacher of the teenager’s school, Lynne Dawes said “I am very concerned because, I know she is 19, but she’s quite a quiet reserved young 19-year-old”.
Bageerathi has received support from her Conservative MP David Burrowes, but Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said her case was not of an “exceptional nature” that would require ministers to intervene.
The teenager filed for asylum in summer last year; claiming that her and her family are fleeing an abusive relative and would be at risk of violence if they returned to Mauritius.
In a statement released before Bageerathi’s deportation, Air Mauritius said the airline “regrets this situation, but as all airline companies cannot but abide by decisions taken by relevant authorities.”
Bageerathi has attracted widespread support with 175,000 people signing an online petition and a range of student leaders have thrown their weight behind her campaign to stay in the country including ULU President Michael Chessum and NUS President Toni Pearce.
The student was due to complete her A Levels at Oasis Academy Hadley in Enfield and was predicted to receive top grades after taking her exams next month. Bageerathi has received offers from a number of Russell Group universities to begin study a degree this September.