WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Some 85 South Asians who were in the U.S. illegally have alleged they were deported by custom enforcement officers by being forcefully placed in bodybags and shocked with tasers in the process.

The group of immigrants comprised of nationals from India, Bangladesh and Nepal, were deported on a chartered Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) flight from Mesa, Ariz. last month after failing to secure asylum or other legal statuses.

Seven of the detainees detailed their claims of abuse to The Guardian, saying that about 15 deportees were placed in bodybags during the flight. They said ICE agents pinned deportees to the ground and tightly wrapped their bodies in security blankets before carrying them on to the plane. Others have claimed ICE agents repeatedly shocked them with tasers during the journey, accounts which the agency has vehemently denied.

Suhel Ahmed, a 29-year-old who was part of the event, described what he saw during a phone interview with The Guardian.

“That’s something that made us really afraid,” Ahmed said. “And me and a lot of fellow detainees started crying and begging [the ICE officers] not to do the same thing to us – we told them, ‘we’ll walk, ‘we’ll walk’ [on to the plane].”

He also said he witnessed four detainees being given “electric shocks,” as they resisted being wrapped in the security blankets. They were already handcuffed, he said, and three other men interviewed who were on the flight said they witnessed people being shocked with the use of something that resembled the looks of a gun.

ICE said in a statement that “minimal force” was used by the officers as detainees were brought onboard the plane. “Approximately a dozen of the detainees refused to comply with officers’ instructions and became combative,” it added. In a subsequent statement, ICE said that blankets can be used “in exigent circumstances where transporting officers determine they are necessary to ensure officer and detainee safety, as was the case in this instance.”

Immigration rights activists for years have been critical of the agency, referring to it on multiple occasions as “rogue.” In 2007, the agency was sued for forcibly sedating detainees during deportations, a policy that was later modified. Civil liberties groups have this year documented the agency’s unwillingness to address the deaths of those under its detention, or the abuse alleged by transgender women who have been held in their facilities.