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Russian Orthodox priest detained at Chennai airport to be deported from India within hours

January 17, 17:41 UTC+3 NEW DELHI
He noted however that Russian diplomat had spent more than seven hours at the airport but had not been allowed to see the priest
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NEW DELHI, January 17. /TASS/. The Russian Orthodox priest, Father Superior Serafim, who has been detained by India’s migration services at the Chennai international airport in southern India will be deported to Russia within hours, Russian Consul General in Chennai Sergei Korov told TASS on Sunday.

"The decision on deportation is final. A boarding card for the flight to Russia has already been handed over to hegumen Serafim," he said, adding that it was "a bureaucratic rather than political incident."

He noted however that Russian diplomat had spent more than seven hours at the airport but had not been allowed to see the priest. "It is a violation of the current Russia-Indian consular agreements and we will raise this issue with the Indian authorities," the Russian diplomat stressed.

Father Superior Serafim was detained by India’s migration services at the Chennai international airport. The priest is not let in the country on charges of having tourist visa.

"The man is facing deportation to Russia. The Indian side says during his previous stay in India he had a visitor visa (at the invitation of the Russian embassy) and now he has arrived with a tourist visa," a source in the Russian embassy in India told TASS earlier..

Hegumen Serafim is the superior of an Orthodox church officially registered in New Delhi. He arrived in Chennai from Pakistan and filled in document for an electronic visa introduced in India last year.

Earlier, Orlando Bloom, a British film star most known for his role as Legolas in Lord of the Rings and Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean, was not let in India because of problems with his electronic visa.

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