…Continued from Page 1 Gnanaloka Thero was asked to change his clothes and sent to Tiruchi along with other students with police escort in vans.

As the vehicles entered Tiruchi, two cabs transporting the students were targeted near Ariyamangalam and G Corner, where members of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Naam Tamizhar Katchi attacked the vehicles with sticks and stones, police said.

The front windshield of one of the vans and the rear one in the other were damaged. However, the students were escorted safely to the airport.

City Police Commissioner Shailesh Kumar Yadav met the students upon their arrival at the airport. The monk was put on a Chennai-bound flight in the evening, while the others were accommodated at the airport temporarily.

The students hailed from different countries, including Sri Lanka, China and Thailand and from north India. All of them are studying Postgraduate Diploma in Archaeology in New Delhi. Their proposed visit to Darasuram and Gangaikondacholapuram temples were cancelled following the incident.

Gnanaloka Thero has been staying in New Delhi for the last one-and-half years pursuing the course. The 46-year-old monk, who hails from Colombo, told The Hindu over phone from the Tiruchi airport that he came to India in 2011 and enrolled himself for the ASI course.

Eleven persons, including A. Nalladurai, State coordinator of the Naam Thamizhar Katchi, and Pazha Rajendran of the Thamizh Desiya Podhuvudamai Katchi, were arrested in Thanjavur, while 10 persons, including MDMK rural district secretary, Tiruchi, were held in Tiruchi in connection with the stone-throwing incident.