Security beefed up outside Sri Lanka mission in Chennai (Lead)

January 30th, 2009 - 10:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 30 (IANS) The Sri Lankan diplomatic mission here was placed under heavy security cover Friday after a mob gathered outside to protest the killing of Tamils in the war-hit island nation.Around 38 students were arrested Friday for holding protests outside the mission.

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commissioner P. Amza said the situation was under control.

“The director general of police (K.P. Jain) has assured us of our safety. The protesters today (Friday) were stopped some 100 metres from our mission and there is absolutely no cause for alarm,” Amza told IANS.

Deputy Commissioner of Police A.G. Mourya, who is heading a 100-strong police contingent for security around the mission, said they were taking no chances.

“Our men held protesters at bay over 150 metres from the diplomatic mission. However, we are not taking chances after yesterday’s (Thursday) stray incidents of stoning at a Lankan establishment,” Mourya told IANS.

Meanwhile, several incidents of hunger strikes by students and lawyers were reported from all over Tamil Nadu to protest the sufferings of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

MDMK leader Vaiko reiterated his charge that “India’s collusion” with the Sri Lankan military in its reported attacks on Tamil civilians had left over 1,000 dead during the past 10 days.

“During my conversation with leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who spoke to me from Mullaitivu, I heard sounds of gunfire in the background. I have information indicating the collusion by Indian armed forces in the reprehensible acts against Tamil civilians who are only seeking a right to live honourably,” Vaiko told reporters.

The protesting law students from Salem, a town 300 km southwest of here, shouted slogans against Sri Lanka for the alleged sufferings of Tamil minority civilians. They were bundled into police vans earlier in the day and released at the police commissioner’s office with a warning.

On Thursday, a man set himself on fire outside a building housing central government offices to protest the killing of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka, triggering a mob attack on a Bank of Ceylon branch. A car of an official was also damaged in north Chennai.

A sub-inspector and three constables have been placed under suspension for dereliction of duty.

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