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Tamil Nadu Riots: Safety Of Malaysian Students Always A Priority

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NEW DELHI – Malaysia’s Consul-General in Chennai, Tamil Nadu has been in touch with all Malaysian students in the southern Indian state directly, via student leaders as well as social media with regards to safety issues amid the riots that erupted there on Saturday.

“When it comes to safety, it’s the students we inform first as well as other Malaysians,” Malaysia’s Consul General in Chennai, Chitra Devi Ramiah said.

Protests and riots erupted immediately after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J.Jayalalithaa, 66, was convicted for owning disproportionate assets on Saturday. She was sentenced to four years jail and fined Rs100 crore (US$16.30 million).

Coincidently, the same day there was a gathering of Malaysians, which was attended by students and student leaders and they were informed immediately on the situation.

“The Malaysian consulate (in Chennai) packed food for them as well as ensured their safe return to the respective colleges,” she told Bernama when contacted on news of a student claiming of not getting any help from the consulate.

A news report quoted a students from Meenakshi Ammal Dental College in Chennai, as saying that the situation was bad and they might run out of food.

The student also claimed that they were not being kept informed of the situation by the Malaysian Students Association.

“Everyone was informed via the official channel that we have for the association. I was at the gathering on Saturday and we got first hand information from the Consul-General,” the association’s president for the Chennai Chapter, Priya Dharshini Palasuperamaniam, 23, said.

The Consul-General even offered the Consulate as well as her own house for students to take shelter in case the situation turned worse, she added.

However, the situation in Chennai is not as bad as reported back in Malaysia.

“In Chennai, life was back to normal on Sunday itself,” Priya said.

Asked on the availability of food, the intern student from Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, which is 12km from Chennai, said all the colleges have their own canteens.

“Colleges have hostel food and canteens. They were operating as normal and there is no way students will run out of food,” said Priya.

Consul (Education & Training) in Chennai, Annie Sabrina Lasumin also announced through official channels and social media that situation in Tamil Nadu, especially in Chennai was calm.

“Shopping complexes and business premises have opened since yesterday.

“However, it is advisable to be cautious at all times and avoid unnecessary commuting or visiting risky places,” she said.

There are about 5,000 Malaysian students in southern India, with some 900 in in Tamil Nadu. – Bernama

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