The incident happened when the 16 tourists, including a Buddhist priest from Kansy, alighted from Tamil Nadu Express that reached the city from New Delhi.
Nobody was injured though two Sri Lankans were targeted. Sources said that the attackers fled after the assault.
The video telecast on Tamil Nadu media clearly show the faces of the attackers however Indian Railway Police says that ,“a video footage is available but it may be difficult to trace them because the men were wearing caps,” Times of India reports.
The Buddhist priest is now under police protection and arrangements are being made to send back the rest of the party to Sri Lanka as soon as possible.
On March 16, 2013, a group of persons had attempted to assault Ven. Pathberiye Gnanaloka, while he was on a study tour at the Thanjavur Hindu Temple. Ven. Gnanaloka Thero who is pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology of India has been studying in New Delhi for the past 18 months and has visited several Indian states on a study tour.
At the time of Saturday’s attack, Ven. Gnanaloka Thero had been with a group of 18 students comprising Indian, Myanmar and other nationals. Ven. Gananloka Thero had not suffered any physical injury as a result of the attack. However, several Indian students who accompanied him had received injuries as a result of the attack, in their efforts to protect the priest.
Ven. Gnanaloka Thero and the other students had been escorted to immediate safety at the Police Station by the Police and arrangements had been made for all the students including Ven. Gnanaloka Thero to leave Thanjavur immediately and depart to the Trichy airport under police protection.
In September, 2012, Sri Lanka issued a travel advisory for Sri Lankan nationals visiting the state of Tamil Nadu, following attacks on Sri Lankans visiting Tamil Nadu, in particular a group of Sri Lankan pilgrims visiting the Poornimatha Church in Thanjavur in early September 2012.
However, in October, in the same year the travel advisory on travelling to the state of Tamil Nadu in India was lifted by the Sri Lankan government.