The Tamil Nadu police on Sunday detained at least nine Tibetans, including writer/activist Tenzin Tsundue following an alert from Central intelligence agencies that members of the Tibetan Youth Congress and Students for Free Tibet-India had planned to organise protests during the proposed visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Mamallapuram in Kancheepuram.
Mr. Jinping will hold informal talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to police sources, eight Tibetans, who arrived from New Delhi, were taken into custody by the Chennai police, while Tibetan writer/activist Tenzin Tsundue was picked up from Kottakuppam in Villupuram district. The suspects were allegedly planning to organise protests during the VIPs’ visit.
Mr. Tsundue, who resides in Dharamshala, had posted on Facebook about the Chinese President’s visit and had planned to unfurl ‘Free Tibet’ flag at the venue of the meeting in Mamallapuram, police said. He was booked under the provisions of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act and remanded in judicial custody. The Chennai police said no decision was taken yet on remanding the eight Tibetans who were taken into custody.
The State police also launched an enumeration of Tibetans students/workers settled across the State ahead of Modi-Jinping meeting. Acting on inputs from Central agencies that “Tibetans in settlements/refugee camps had planned to stage protests demanding Tibetan independence during the visit of Mr. Jinping to Tamil Nadu, Commissioners/Superintendents of Police were told to gather details of Tibetans living in their respective cities/districts.
Plainclothesmen were deployed to gather intelligence on the plans of the Tibetans and take effective steps to prevent any gathering or incident at the venue, airport and route of the VIP convoy.
Intensified security arrangements are in place across the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu in the run-up to the much publicised Indo-Chinese leaders’ meeting in the shore town of Mamallapuram. Amid alerts from Central intelligence agencies on the possibility of intrusion of extremists via the sea route, the Coastal Security Group in coordination with the Indian Navy and Coast Guard was involved in patrolling or the territorial waters and vulnerable stretches along the eastern seaboard, police sources said on Sunday.
After the Chief Secretary Shanmugam convened a meeting of officials from Central and State agencies, including defence forces, Director-General of Police J.K. Tripathy reviewed the security arrangements to be organised in Chennai City and Kancheepuram district. A few thousand personnel from various police units would be mobilised for the event, the sources said.
Teams from the Special Protection Group and Chinese security agencies were expected to land in Chennai for the Advance Security Liaison meeting and finalise the security protocol at the airport, convoy route and venue of the meeting.
Airport authorities said there was no formal communication yet on the necessity of altering the time schedule of passenger and cargo planes.
Since there were inputs from the agencies of the Union government in the recent months on the possibility of intrusion by members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, ISIS and other banned outfits into Tamil Nadu or Kerala, police have stepped up vigil at hotels, resorts, guest houses, mansions and buildings in remote locations in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts, sources said.
( With inputs from S. Prasad in Villupuram )