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Demands to free Indian scribe held in Lanka grow

Tamil Prabhakaran was arrested in Sri Lanka on Thursday on charges of filming a military installation in Kilinochchi, the former LTTE stronghold. Political parties and journalists associations have appealed to PM for the journalist's safe return.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2013 16:42 IST
tamil prabhakaran,indian journalist,sri lanka

Political parties in Tamil Nadu and journalist associations on Friday sought Centre's intervention for release of an Indian national arrested in Sri Lanka.

MDMK leader Vaiko appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure the safe return of the man hailing from Tamil Nadu, arrested on Thursday.

In a letter to Singh, Vaiko identified the arrested person as Tamil Prabhakaran and said he had gone there on a tourist visa on December 25.

He said Prabhakaran had accompanied Sri Lankan Tamil MP Sritharan and Pasupathi Pillai, elected Member of the northern provincial council, who visited Ponnavili, a Tamil village.

"Then they have proceeded to Valaipadu village. When they were on discussion with Rev. Father of St. Antony Church, theywere surrounded by the Sri Lankan Army at 1.30 PM and taken to custody," he said.

While Sritharan and Pillai were released in the evening, Prabhakaran was detained, he said.

Claiming that the arrested Prabhakaran was a 'journalist', Vaiko insisted that a journalist had "every right" to visit any country on tourist visa and the "freedom to meet people."

Expressing concern over the arrest, Vaiko requested Singh to take "immediate appropriate measures" through the external affairs ministry to enable the safe return of Prabakaran to Tamil Nadu.

PMK founder S Ramadoss also flayed the arrest, allegingthat it was an example of human rights violations in that country.

The Chennai Press Club and Chennai Union of Journalists wrote to the external affairs ministry, saying Prabhakaran had written a series of articles in a Tamil bi-weekly "about the plight of the Lankan Tamils", which was subsequently published as a book. The associations sought the intervention of the ministry for Prabhakaran's release.

On December 26, Sri Lankan police had said an Indian national had been arrested on charges of filming a military installation in Kilinochchi, the former LTTE stronghold.

First Published: Dec 27, 2013 15:03 IST