Hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Chennai on Friday morning for his informal summit with Chinese president Xi JInping, five Tibetan students were detained by the city police for staging a protest and shouting slogan at Guindy, in front of the ITC Hotel, where the Chinese dignitary will stay during his visit.
The five students, who breached a police cordon and shouted slogans demanding independence for Tibet while holding “Free Tibet” flags, were taken away by the police.
The city is under unprecedented security cover for the high-profile visit and the summit that will take place in Mamallapuram.
The Tibetan community in Chennai and elsewhere in the state have come under scrutiny with eight of them, including writer-activist Tenzin Tsundue, earlier arrested on charges of planning to protest against Xi Jinping. A noted ‘Free Tibet’ activist, Tsundue, a former student of the Loyola College in Chennai, was picked up at Kottakuppam in Villupuram district on Sunday night. The seven other Tibetan youth had landed from New Delhi, police said.
Sources said the Chinese president will drive from Chennai to Mamallapuram, a distance of a little more than 50 km, in a motorcade. The sources said the Chinese side had opted for a hotel in Chennai and to drive to Mamallapuram, instead of using a helicopter, for security and other reasons.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Chennai on Friday morning and Xi is expected to reach later in the afternoon. Apart from talks and sightseeing, the two dignitaries will also witness cultural performances. The Shore Temple complex will be the venue for a private dinner hosted by Modi, for which a huge white tent has been erected. This dinner, the people cited above said, will allow for the most substantive engagement between the two leaders on Friday.
Oct 11, 2019 12:48 IST