The Tamil Nadu police arrested the 50-year-old German national who is alleged to have raised funds to fund the protests. Sources have also claimed that he was close to anti-nuke activist Udayakumar. The German national has been identified as Sonnteg Reiner Hermann and was arrested from Nagercoil on Monday.
The arrest was made by Tamil Nadu 'Q' branch sleuths, who are engaged in the monitoring of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the state. After the arrest, Hermann was brought to Chennai on Monday evening and after cancelling his visa, was deported early on Tuesday morning.
As per police sources, Hermann was in India on a tourist visa. Earlier, the PM's comments that the anti-Koodankulam stir was backed by certain US based NGOs had irked the anti-nuclear protestors. He had claimed that the protests were getting backing from US and Europe based NGOs.
Police officials stated that Hermann was picked up by the 'Q' branch after the police received a tip-off. He was arrested from a lodge in Nagercoil and after a thorough search in his room, police found evidence that he was in fact mobilising funds for the anti-nuclear activists.
The officer added, "We had been watching his movements and found that he was sourcing funds for activists in Tamil Nadu. We collected Hermann's mobile phone call details and found that he was in touch with Lalmohan, a close aide of Udayakumar who is leading the anti-nuclear agitation in Kudankulam."
MoS in the PMO, V Narayanasamy had also commented on the prevalence of foreign forces in the Koodankulam stir and stated that he had cancelled the licenses of three NGOs in south Tamil Nadu. He said, "These NGOs have violated the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act and therefore their licenses have been cancelled. They did not maintain proper accounts and did not use funds for the purposes they were meant for."