Chennai airport
Chennai airportCreative Commons

The Russian Embassy in New Delhi has condemned the deportation of a Russian citizen from Chennai on Sunday on the ground that he had only a tourist visa, said reports.

Russian Orthodox priest Father Seraphim was deported from Chennai International Airport by the Foreign Regional Registration Office of the Bureau of Immigration.

The embassy expressed said the disrespect shown to the priest from a friendly country is against the cordial relationship between the two countries. It said Seraphim was invited by Alexander Kadakin, the Russian Ambassador to India, but was denied entry by Indian officials.

"Unacceptable is the fact that Russian diplomats were denied for seven hours contact with the priest at the airport," IANS quoted a statement issued by the embassy as saying.

"He was also denied basic assistance, including food, despite requests from the embassy and the consulate general of the Russian Federation in Chennai," added the statement, "Such disrespect, shown to a priest from a friendly country, goes against the spirit of mutual affinity and cooperation characteristic of Russian-Indian relationship."

Reports said the priest was scheduled to attend a special prayer in Chennai on Monday as part of his visit to Russian consulates in India, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Nepal to extend spiritual support to Russian officials and their family members.