Will con­tinue beg­ging, says Rus­sian found seek­ing alms


The Rus­sian tourist, Ev­genii Berd­nikov, “res­cued” by the po­lice and sent to Chen­nai af­ter he sought alms at a Kancheep­u­ram tem­ple on Tues­day says he would con­tinue beg­ging and has no im­me­di­ate plans to leave the coun­try. This news­pa­per found the man with an­other tourist on South Boag road in T. Na­gar. It seemed that the for­eign na­tional is not in any dis­tress as feared ini­tially.

The Rus­sian con­sulate in Chen­nai had ear­lier told the me­dia that he had not con­tacted them and that they will as­sist him in a proper way if he con­tacts them.

When asked as to why he has not con­tacted the Rus­sian con­sulate in Chen­nai as sug­gested by the cops, Ev­genii replied that they would be of no help to him and he wants to travel. His visa ex­pires on Novem­ber 22.

While mil­i­tary ten­sions pre­vail be­tween Rus­sia and Ukraine, the per­son Ev­genii be­friended on reach­ing the city on Wed­nes­day is a Ukra­nian, An­dre, with whom he was loi­ter­ing on the city streets. They were re­turn­ing af­ter vis­it­ing a tem­ple in T. Na­gar. “I came with $8 and 50 Eu­ros (ap­prox­i­mately `4,000),” Eu­gene claimed, de­mand­ing `100 from peo­ple who recog­nise him from the news re­ports and ap­proach him.

The Rus­sian tourist said that he had ex­hausted the very lit­tle money he had. “I will con­tinue ask­ing peo­ple for money,” Ev­genii said, adding that he has plans to visit Ben­galuru next.

The 24-year-old man has no pur­pose of the visit and is of the free-spir­ited kind.

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