New Delhi:Vaiko, leader of the MDMK that is an ally of the incoming government of Narendra Modi, and about 100 of his Tamil party supporters were detained here Monday while protesting against the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, police said.
Police rounded up the vocal protesters in the heart of the capital when they began marching from near the Jantar Mantar observatory towards parliament, waving black flags.
The group halted near the Parliament Street police station where police had erected steel barricades.
“We have come to Delhi to protest against the visit of the butcher of Tamils,” Vaiko screamed, referring to Rajapaksa who is accused of ordering the killing of thousands of Tamils during the civil war.
This is the second time Vaiko has visited New Delhi to register his opposition to Rajapaksa. He is a BJP ally, and earlier met BJP leaders to urge them to spike the invite to the Sri Lankan president.
Dressed in black, a symbol of protest, MDMK activists raised slogans against Rajapaksa and burnt his posters. Rajapaksa arrived here Monday to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new government.
A Delhi Police spokesman said Vaiko, a former MP and a long-time supporter of the now vanquished Tamil Tigers, had been taken to Parliament Street police station for preventive detention.
Modi’s decision to invite Rajapaksa along with other SAARC leaders had raised a storm in Tamil Nadu, with all Dravidian parties expressing their opposition.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has refused to attend Modi’s inauguration.
The Rajapaksa regime has been accused by critics of overseeing the killing of thousands of Tamils during the end stages of the Tamil separatist conflict that ended in May 2009.
Formerly from the DMK, Vaiko, who later formed the MDMK, has been one of the most vocal supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which was militarily crushed in 2009.
The MDMK and four other smaller Tamil parties had allied with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) before the Lok Sabha election.