Chennai police seek info on Lankan tourists

The police in Chennai have begun gathering information on Sri Lankan tourists arriving in the area following the recent attacks targeting Sri Lankan monks.

The New Indian Express reported that the Indian police have decided to place armed guards in trains after a Sri Lankan monks was assaulted yesterday.

The 31-year-old Buddhist monk was allegedly roughed up by a trio when he was about to alight from the Tamil Nadu Express train at the Chennai Central Railway Station.

The monk made a complaint with the Government Railway Police (GRP) who are perusing the footage of the incident shot by a private channel, to identify the culprits.

According to police sources, the victim, WKM Bandara, was one among the 19-member pilgrimage group from Kandi to India, which is on a visit to the Buddhist pilgrimage centres in Chennai since February 3.

The group was reportedly alighting from the S6 coach of the train on Platform 7, when the three persons targeted Bandara and landed several blows on the monk with a chappal, besides assaulting him.

After attacking him, they shouted slogans against the visit of Buddhists. Apart from the monk, Wangeesa (70), one of the pilgrims, was also assaulted by the trio. Meanwhile, the Railway Police, who were on platform no 6, rushed to the spot and escorted the monk and his group to the Maha Bodhi Society on Kennet Lane.

The monk had sustained injuries on his leg while trying to evade the attackers and refused to undergo treatment as advised by the Railway Police, saying he would leave for Sri Lanka today (Tuesday), where he would get himself treated if need be.

The monk, in his complaint, claimed that he was also robbed off `30,000 and Wangeesa, `10,000.

However, the Railway Police said that the claim was to be verified as there was no evidence of the trio snatching anything from the monk during the assault in the footage.

The group had visited Bodh Gaya in Bihar, Sarnath near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Lumbini in Nepal. Railway Police DSP V Ponramu told Express that a case was registered and the accused would be identified with the help of the video footage.

“We have increased security to avert any such untoward incident. Armed guards have been deployed in all trains. After the incident, we have sought details about all Sri Lankan tourists who would access the railway station, so as to ensure adequate protection to them,” the police official added