VILLUPPURAM: Tibetan activist and writer Tenzin Tsundue was arrested at Kottakuppam in Villuppuram on Saturday, ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Mamallapuram scheduled to take place between October 13-15.
"He was carrying ‘Free Tibet’ materials and pamphlets. He was sent to Puzhal prison last night. Based on his previous protests against China, we arrested him to prevent him from doing something similar next week," Kottakuppam inspector Saravanan said. Police said he has been held under Section 7 (1) (a) of Criminal Law Amendment, 2013 read with with Section 14 of the Foreigners Act, 1946.
Tsundue (44) is a poet, writer and Tibetan activist, who graduated from Loyola College. He was held in 2002 for unfurling a ‘Free Tibet’ banner from the 14th floor of Mumbai’s Hotel Oberoi during the visit of then Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji. As news of his arrest spread, his supporters took to social media to demand his release.
Professor of political science and international studies at the Madras University, Ramu Manivannan told Express that India was being too defensive on behalf of China. "It was a nonviolent peaceful protest after all, and as refugees policy permits, Tibetan refugees must be allowed to express their pain and concern over their nation. Tsundue didn’t disturb public or cause any violence to anybody," he said.