Devotees were surprised to see a foreigner seeking alms and alerted the police.

Russian man found begging at Kanchipuram temple cops and Sushma step in to helpImage: PTI
news News Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 09:15

A Russian man was found sitting at the entrance of the Sri Kumarakottam temple in Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, seeking alms, after his ATM card got locked.

The man, identified as Evgenii Berdnikov (24) - his name also being reported as Evangelin by some, had a valid passport and visa and arrived in India on September 24.

The Hindu reported that Evgenni arrived in Kancheepuram on Tuesday morning from Chennai, and visited a few temples in the area, before he went to an ATM kiosk near the Kumarakottam temple. After he entered the PIN wrongly several times, his ATM card was locked and he was not able to withdraw cash.

Following this, Evgenni sat down at the temple entrance with his backpack, and began begging for alms with his cap. 

The devotees were surprised to see a foreigner seeking alms and alerted the police, following which the Siva Kanchi police reached the spot, according to reports.

After taking him to the police station, the police found all his travel documents in place, and realised what had happened.

“We checked his travel documents, passport and visa. All documents are perfectly valid. He had spent all his money and was not sure how to reach Chennai,” a police officer told Deccan Chronicle

The DC report adds that the police gave him Rs. 500 and put him on a suburban train to Chennai, where he was asked to approach the Russian embassy in the capital city.

Following this, the incident even came to the notice of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who tweeted, “Your country Russia is our time-tested friend. My officials in Chennai will provide you all help.”  

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