London

Yashika Bageerathi's mother pleads for her release

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Media captionSowbhagyawatee Bageerathi pleaded for her daughter to be released

The mother of a London student who is to be deported to her native Mauritius has pleaded with MPs to release her from Yarl's Wood immigration centre.

A-level student Yashika Bageerathi, 19, from Enfield, was due to fly from Heathrow on Sunday after a failed asylum bid. The flight was cancelled.

Her mother, Sowbhagyawatee, asked the Home Affairs Committee "just to free her", adding: "I want her back."

The Home Office has said it will not intervene in the case.

The A-level student from the Oasis Academy Hadley, north London, came to the UK with her mother and younger brother and sister from Mauritius in 2011 to escape a relative who was physically abusive.

The family claimed asylum last summer but all four now face deportation. But due to Ms Bageerathi's age, her application was considered separately and she faces returning to Mauritius alone.

'Very concerned'

The 19-year-old, who has been given air tickets by the Home Office but not flown back yet, has been held at Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre since 19 March.

Image copyright Menha Zola/PA wire
Image caption Yashika Bageerathi was to be deported to Mauritius without her family

Breaking down in tears as she appealed to the MPs, her mother said: "I saw her [on] Mother's Day. It's not a place for her, it's a place that is cruel."

Mrs Bageerathi gave evidence at the committee, along with her MP, David Burrowes, who represents Enfield Southgate, and the head teacher of the teenager's school, Lynne Dawes.

Ms Dawes said: "I am very concerned because, I know she is 19, but she's quite a quiet reserved young 19-year-old.

"She's finding it very, very difficult. I know she is significantly younger than the other women there, so she spends most of her time away from the other women in her room."

The MP said: "What I saw was a predetermined decision having been made.

"We need to look humanely at every individual case at every point right up to the very end. I don't believe this has happened here."

James Brokenshire, the Immigration Minister, told MPs that he had examined the facts of the case and had concluded that there was no justification for ministers to intervene because it was not of an "exceptional nature".

He said the student had arrived on a visitor's visa in December 2011, two years after her mother.

Yashika Bageerathi's school friends held a protest in Parliament Square on Saturday ahead of her deportation.

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