Tamil activists ransack Sri Lankan high commission

India regrets incident, promises action against perpetrators

 
India regretted the incident and promised appropriate action against the perpetrators while Lanka expressed shock over the attack.

The incident took place around 2.30 pm when the protesters scaled the wall of the high commission located in the high-security diplomatic enclave in Chanakyapuri area, and smashed 10-15 flowerpots.

The attackers, identified as activists of Puthiya Tamizhagam based in Tamil Nadu, were protesting against the firing by the Sri Lankan navy on Indian fishermen.

A senior Sri Lankan high commission official expressed unhappiness over the police failure to prevent the storming of the premises. “We are shocked. We have taken it up with the External Affairs Ministry and the Delhi police and sought additional security. We will also be writing to the ministry,” said S Gunaratne, first secretary in the high commission.

“The unfortunate issue is that the police failed to prevent the perpetrators from climbing over the perimeter,” Gunaratne  said.

“In the afternoon, 40-50 people gathered outside our building chanting anti-Lanka slogans. They looked like Tamils and flaunted placards criticising the Sri Lankan government,” Gunaratne said. “Around 10 people jumped over the perimeter of the main gate. Since it was a holiday, there was no staff around. They smashed several flowerpots and chanted slogans,” he said.

Before coming to the high commission, the activists held a protest at Jantar Mantar against the Lankan navy firing on Indian fishermen.

“We deeply regret this unfortunate incident, which has involved an act of violence against a diplomatic mission,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said.

He said the law enforcement agencies have swung into action and security around the high commission premises has been strengthened.

“Action as prescribed by the law will be taken against the perpetrators of this incident,” he said.

“No one was injured. It all happened in two minutes. Before the police could act, they fled. No one could be arrested,” said New Delhi additional commissioner of police S Dass.

Earlier on February 13, activists of a fringe pro-Eelam group Tamil Eelam Group gheraoed the premises and tried to enter the building agitating against the “killing of innocent civilians” in Sri Lanka.

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