(TibetanReview.net, Mar12, 2015) – Lathi (cane) wielding police in the Indian capital New Delhi detained around 100 Tibetans on Mar 10 after they rallied outside the Chinese embassy in the Chanakyapuri area on the occasion of the 56th Tibetan National Uprising against Chinese occupation of their homeland. Waving Tibetan national flags, the protesters formed a human chain and chanted slogans such as “Free Tibet” and “Rise up for freedom”.
There were initially only 20-25 protesters, reported PTI news agency Mar 10, but their numbers swelled as hundreds more poured in, giving police a tough time in handling the situation. Security in and around the Chinese embassy was strengthened as the protesting crowd kept swelling.
Apart from those carrying Tibet flags, the crowd included protesters who had painted slogans or Tibetan flag on their cheeks and bodies, while some were bare-chested and wore black masks. And they shouted independence slogans and unfurled anti-China banners, reported AFP Mar 10.
The report said that at one stage, the protesters rushed towards the main gates of the heavily-guarded embassy before being beaten back by security forces. Nearly the entire crowd of some 100 demonstrators, including women activists, were detained, the report cited police as saying. The protesters had interlocked their hands and tried to form a chain around the embassy and the police dragged them away into waiting buses and jeeps.
Police used mild force after a scuffle broke out with the protestors, reported timesofindia.indiatimes.com Mar 10.
“We are here to highlight the significance of the critical situation Tibet is in. There have been 137 self-immolations in Tibet since 2008, the year of the Chinese crackdown on the Tibetan unrest in Lhasa and other parts of Tibet,” asianage.com Mar 11 quoted Tenzing Jigme, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress, as saying at the police station. He was among the organizers and detainees.
The protesters were expected to be released later in the day.
Protests were held in other Indian cities and towns too. In Chennai, over 60 students belonging to the Tibetan Students’ Association of Madras marked the day with a press briefing, film screening at the University of Madras, a protest rally and a prayer gathering later in the day at the Marina beach, reported thehindu.com Mar 11.
In the north Indian city of Dehradun, a huge crowd of Tibetans staged a protest rally which moved through the Tibetan Market, Prince Chowk, Paltan Bazaar, Clock Tower and Parade Ground with ‘Free Tibet’ stickers on their foreheads, reported timesofindia.indiatimes.com Mar 10. “I have been living in Dehradun for decades and it is home now. But the dream of going back to our homeland will never die. I hope I get a chance to go back to my own country in this lifetime,” it quoted Sonam Kashyap, a Tibetan married to an Indian national, as saying.
Dehradun is the capital of Uttarakhand state, home to around 10,000 Tibetans, according to the report.