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Activists storm Sri Lankan Mission, Centre promises action

October 02, 2009 19:30 IST

Around 40 activists of a Tamil outfit on Friday stormed the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi, pelting stones and ransacking the premises -- an incident which the Government of India regretted and promised appropriate action against the perpetrators.

Activists of a little-known outfit 'Puthiya Tamizhagam' based in Tamil Nadu entered the high commission premises in Chanakyapuri at around 2.30 pm, protesting against firing by the Sri Lankan Navy on Indian fishermen.

The activists ran into the premises shouting slogans and pelted stones at the building breaking some of the windowpanes and flowerpots.

Within minutes, they left the high commission premises in vehicles in which they had come. No one has been arrested.

Unconfirmed reports said Puthiya Tamizhagam president Krishnaswamy was sitting in a car when the activists barged into the premises.

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

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

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

A senior Sri Lankan High Commission official expressed unhappiness over the fact that the police failed to prevent the storming of the premises and failed to apprehend anyone.

S Gunaratne, high commission first secretary, said a complaint would be lodged with the police and the issue would be taken up with the Indian government asking for additional security.

"The unfortunate thing is that the police failed to prevent the perpetrators from climbing over the perimeter," he said.

He said the placards the activists were carrying indicated that they were demanding revising of the Katchatheevu agreement under which the island was ceded to Sri Lanka.

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

A senior police official said more police personnel have been deployed near the high commission.

Earlier on February 13, activists of a fringe pro-Eelam group 'Tamil Eelam Group' surrounded the premises and tried to enter the building agitating against the "killing of innocent civilians" in that country.
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