Fight for Yashika campaign dealt ‘cruel’ blow: Home Office plans to remove ‘right to family life’ – by deporting whole Bageerathi family

Yashika Bageerathi, 19, has been supported by school friends, teachers, politicians and an online petition

A campaign to prevent a teenager from being deported back to Mauritius on her own have been dealt a “cruel” blow after the Home Office apparently moved to negate her “right to family life” defence – by also deporting the rest of her family.

Yashika Bageerathi, 19, is a promising student preparing to take her A levels, and has been supported in her appeal by teachers, politicians and the model and actress Cara Delevingne.

Along with her mother Sowbhagyawatee, 38, sister Shaivya, 16 and brother Cherish, 11, Yashika fled Mauritius to escape a relative who had been physically abusing her.

It seemed yesterday that she had been given a last-minute reprieve from deportation, when she was brought to Gatwick Airport only to then be returned to a detention centre in Yarl’s Wood, Bedfordshire.

Yet the Home Office has now been accused of playing a “cruel game” over Yashika’s asylum case.

Her headteacher said tonight that solicitors had received a letter from the Home Office this afternoon stating she has no grounds for appeal - and that her mother is also to be deported.

Lynne Dawes, the head at Oasis Academy Hadley in Enfield, north London, explained that it may mean there is no longer any argument for Yashika to remain in the UK.

Yashika Bageerathi, who aspires to be a maths teacher Yashika Bageerathi, who aspires to be a maths teacher Supporters had argued that Yashika right to a family life should be considered, and described the decision to remove her alone as “unfair and disproportionate”.

Ms Dawes said: “The thing is how they have been treated - people have to understand that this is the way we as a country are treating people.

“I don't know the wrongs and rights of their asylum case, but I do know that they are genuinely scared of going back to Mauritius - that is very clear when you speak to the family.

“Yashika has got the support of everyone in her academy because she adds so much. But we are hearing a lot of other cases of teenagers who are fearful that when they turn 18 they will be removed, and cases of people who have already been removed.

“Even if this is no longer about her right to a family life, Yashika is about to do her A-levels and her sister has her GCSEs coming up this summer - if they are removed it will ruin their education.”

Yashika’s school friends told the Evening Standard the decision from the Home Office represented a “cruel game”.

Cara Delevingne Cara Delevingne, who tweeted: 'The Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP, Home Secretary: #FightforYashika Stop this sixth form student being deported alone. She deserves a future' Jennifer Dana-Tariah, 16, said: “We are appalled by the decision. They have used one of our arguments against us and it is a cynical betrayal. We are now fighting for four people.”

According to Ms Dawes, Yashika was not flown back to Mauritius yesterday because British Airways refused to take her on the plane.

Her fellow pupils have used social media and demonstrations to protest against the decision to send Yashika back.

A petition by the students calling on Immigration Minister James Brokenshire and Home Secretary Theresa May to stop the deportation and allow the student to complete her A-levels garnered nearly 23,000 signatures on change.org.

Model Cara Delevingne also made a plea on Twitter to Mrs May not to send the aspiring maths teacher back.

As well as the pupils' online campaign, Ms Dawes and the student's mother met their MP, David Burrowes, on Friday. He made representations to the Home Office in an effort to delay the deportation yesterday.

Mr Burrowes, MP for Enfield Southgate, added that the decision to remove the teenager would have had to be delayed regardless, because “the minister has to consider my representation before removal. He hasn't yet done that and that has to happen before she goes”.

The Home Office has refused to comment on the case.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor