Hours ahead of President of China Xi Jinping’s scheduled arrival Chennai, the police have reportedly detained five Tibetan students for protesting in front of the hotel which is set to host the leader.
According to reports, the students had gathered in front of Hotel ITC Grand Chola on Friday morning around 11.30. As they started raising slogans against the Chinese president, police deployed in the area surrounded the students and detained them. The students were transported from the spot in a police van.
President Xi Jinping is expected to land in Chennai on Friday around 1.30 pm and proceed to the ITC Grand Chola directly from the airport. Police presence has been strengthened in the area as a result of the leader's visit.
More Tibetans have also been detained near the terminal at Chennai airport, where they had reportedly planned to protest against Xi Jinping.
Xi Jinping is expected to stay in Chennai for a period of 24 hours, during which time he is slated to visit Mahabalipuram temples, attend a high-profile dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and take part in informal meetings with dignitaries of the two nations.
Earlier this week, the Chennai police had arrested Tenzin Tsundue, a Tibetan activist and writer, as well as nine other activists. Tenzin was picked up from Villupuram district, while the others were held after reaching Chennai from New Delhi. The police had earlier told TNM that the Tibetans had planned a protest during Xi Jinping’s visit to Mahabalipuram, calling for the independence of Tibet, a tense region under the Chinese state.
The arrests came after the Central intelligence agencies alerted the police about possible protests by the Tibetan Youth Congress and Students for Free Tibet-India, The Hindu reported. The Villupuram police had told TNM that Tenzin was booked under Section 7(1)(a) of The Criminal Law Amendment Act read with Section 4 of The Foreigners Act (obstruction, intent to use violence and loitering) and was remanded.