Buses carrying the Sri Lankan pilgrims were attacked in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu Tuesday, a day after the Sri Lankan government had issued a travel advisory to its citizens. Sri Lanka had issued the warning in the wake of the increasing attacks against its citizens in Tamil Nadu.
A group of around 180 Lankan pilgrims were stopped by the pro-Tamil activists Tuesday morning. The group was returning after visiting the famous Velankanni church in the state.
The mob attacked a convoy of five buses with the Sri Lankans onboard who were heading to the airport in Tiruchirappalli in the state to board a special flight to Sri Lanka. Some of the passengers sustained minor injuries when the glass panes of the buses were broken by the mob.
The police arrested nine activists of the Naam Tamizhar Iyakkam for trying to block the buses carrying the pilgrims, the Times of India reported. The passengers later proceeded to the airport.
The Lankan pilgrims comprising both Sinhalese and Tamils arrived in India Monday to attend a two-day annual festival at the Poondi Madha Basilica in Thanjavur district.
The attacks against the Sri Lankans have intensified after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was defeated and the areas controlled by the LTTE were captured by the government troops in 2009. All the political parties in Tamil Nadu have accused the Lankan government of war atrocities against the minority Tamils in the island nation.
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa recently ordered to send back a Sri Lankan college football team that arrived to play a friendly match in the state.
The political parties in the state have consistently objected to giving training to the Sri Lankan defense forces in Tamil Nadu.