US Consulate in Chennai shuts down visa section
Chennai: Faced with protests over the anti-Islam film for the third day, the US consulate here has shut down its visa section for two days from today.
"The visa section will be closed for appointments on Monday and Tuesday. Persons with appointments are being notified for rescheduling dates. Emergency services will be offered to American citizens," an advisory posted on the Consulate`s official website said.
The decision to close the visa section came as the anti-US protests in front of the consulate continued for the third day today with another Muslim outfit planning to hold a demonstration tomorrow.
A spokesperson of the Consulate said the decision to close down the visa section for two days was taken yesterday and all applicants already given appointment had been informed about the rescheduling.
"In no way will they be inconvenienced," he said adding around 1,000 visa applicants visited the Consulate every day.
Earlier, the Consulate had issued a travel advisory, asking US nationals to exercise caution while moving around the city, in the face of protests.
On Friday last, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam activists picketed the consulate and pelted stones damaging some window panes, prompting city police to further beef up security at the heavily-guarded installation located on the arterial Anna Salai.
Another Muslim outfit staged a protest on Saturday while Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi activists held a demonstration in front of the consulate today protesting the American film, `Innocence of Muslims,` which allegedly denigrated Prophet Mohammed.
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