Two French journalists, covering beach sand mining in Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari, booked for trespassing

Kanyakumari: The Tamil Nadu police has registered a case against two French journalists for allegedly trespassing into a prohibited area in Kanyakumari to shoot videos for a documentary on beach sand mining, a senior police official said Thursday.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The official, who identified the French nationals only by their first names Arthur and Jules, said they came to Kanyakumari on 26 November on tourist visas and shot videos, clicked pictures and interviewed some people about environmental issues like beach sand mining in the area.

When the duo attempted to get into the Indian Rare Earths Limited premises at Manavalakurichi, they were intercepted. "They were stopped at the second gate of the IREL. They did not take pictures or videos inside the premises (of the PSU). However, they had taken pictures in the vicinity for their documentary," Kanyakumari Superintendent of Police N Shreenath told PTI.

Being foreigners visiting the country on a tourist visa, they had violated the law by carrying out professional journalistic activities, he said. They did not have permission to do such things even in a non-prohibited area, he said.

A case has been registered against them under provisions of the Foreigners Act and the IPC for offences including criminal trespass, the officer said.

When asked about their whereabouts, he said, police had information that they have already returned to France.

Two Tamil Nadu men, who helped the duo, including a freelance journalist, were summoned for questioning. While one did not appear despite receiving the summons, the other did not accept the formal communique.

"They have to be enquired," he said.

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Updated Date: Nov 30, 2018 08:07:50 IST

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