India

India Tamil leader Vaiko detained over Rajapaksa protest

  • 21 September 2012
  • From the section India
MDMK Tamil leader Vaiko leading a rally
Image caption Indian Tamils like Vaiko accuse President Rajapaksa of human rights abuses against Sri Lankan Tamils

Police in India have detained Tamil politician Vaiko in the central Madhya Pradesh state for protesting against the visit of the Sri Lankan president.

Mahinda Rajapaksa is on a three-day visit to India. On Friday, he was in Sanchi town to lay the foundation stone for a Buddhist university in the state.

Vaiko and other Indian Tamils accuse Mr Rajapaksa of rights abuses against ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka.

On Thursday, Mr Rajapaksa met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi.

Vaiko, who is the leader of the opposition Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) party in Tamil Nadu state, was detained along with his supporters as they tried to march to Sanchi on Friday afternoon.

Earlier this week, a Tamil man had set himself on fire to protest against the visit.

There is a large Tamil community in Sri Lanka and many Indian Tamils accuse President Rajapaksa of atrocities against the community during the civil war in the island nation.

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