New Delhi/Chennai: Bowing under intense pressure from Tamil political parties, the Ministry of Defence on Friday decided to "send off" nine Sri Lankan airmen who were undergoing training at the Indian Air Force station at Tambaram near Chennai.
"All Sri Lankan trainees are being sent off today from this Station as per instruction of the Ministry of Defence," a brief Defence Ministry statement said.
Political parties, including ruling UPA key ally DMK, had strongly protested training to nine Sri Lankan airmen here.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa described it as an "insult to Tamil people" and others including her bitter rival, DMK, also joining in the chorus.
"At a time when there are voices demanding equal status for Tamils in Sri Lanka, reports about Sri Lankan Air force personnel receiving training at the Tambaram Air force station near here has come as a shock to the Tamil people. I strongly condemn this," Jayalalithaa had said in a strongly-worded statement yesterday.
DMK president M Karunanidhi and MDMK founder Vaiko said it was "condemnable" and demanded that they be sent back.
With PTI inputs