84 Sri Lankan pilgrims had come under attack in Chennai yesterday by goons describing themselves as ‘black tigers,’ family members of the Sri Lankans said.
The Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai had transferred the pilgrims to a hotel in a safe area.
Three of the 84 had been injured.
A relative of one of the victims told Daily Mirror that a team from the Deputy High Commission had transferred the pilgrims to another hotel to ensure their safety. According to this relative the attackers had ordered the staff of the former hotel to send the victims away before 8.00 am today.
Chandrika, the wife of one of the victims, told Daily Mirror that the Sri Lankan pilgrims had come under attack while they were shopping. Her husband had told her that the attackers had been staging a protest against Sri Lanka as they passed by.
The protesters had recognised the pilgrims as Sri Lankans and gone up and assaulted them and grabbed their bags and set fire to them.
The Deputy High Commission had assured the victims that they would be sent back to Sri Lanka safely on Friday. The victims who are from Elpitiya had left for India on July 17 on a pilgrimage to Bodhgaya and were scheduled to return on August 5.