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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Tamil groups enter Tirupati to protest Sri Lankan President's visit

IANS  Hyderabad, February 08, 2013
First Published: 11:27 IST(8/2/2013) | Last Updated: 12:39 IST(8/2/2013)

A large number of activists of Tamil groups from neighbouring Tamil Nadu on Friday entered the temple town of Tirupati to stall the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is scheduled to arrive there in the evening.

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Police arrested over 100 protesters, who sneaked into the town from Tamil Nadu. Security has been tightened across the town following intelligence reports that hundreds of protestors had already reached Tirupati.

Several Tamil organisations are opposing Rajapaksa's visit as he has ruled out autonomy for Tamil areas in the island nation. They alleged that the Sri Lankan government had gone back on its promise.

Prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more people have been imposed to prevent any untoward incident, an official said. A large number of security personnel have been deployed along the route from the airport to Tirumala.

Some activists were arrested when they arrived at the Tirupati railway station Friday morning. They were raising slogans against the visit by Sri Lankan president. Some wall posters have also come up in the town, opposing Rajapaksa's visit.

Tirupati in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh is 50 km from Tamil Nadu border. The temple town is 135 km from Chennai.

The Sri Lankan president, along his family members and officials will arrive in a special aircraft Friday evening. After landing at Renigunta airport, about 15 km from Tirupati, they will motor up to Tirumala Hills.

After staying the night at Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam's Sri Padmavathi Guest House, the visiting dignitary will worship Lord Venkateswara in the early hours of Saturday.

According to temple officials, he will take part in the 'Suprabhatha' Seva at 3 am on Saturday. He will return to Renigunta airport and take off to Colombo at 9.30 am

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