Tibetan marchers arrested by Himachal Police

JAWALAMUKHI : The Kangra police of Hiamchal Pardesh northeren Indian state, arrested around 100 Tibetans  Today at Dehra 12 k.m. from here this morning. They were brought to Jawalamukhi in four police vans and sent back to Dharmshala.

All senior police officials alongwith more than 50 police personnel are here from last night.  Tibetans wee arrested by the police, as they tried to march to the Chinese border to press claims for independence and protest the Beijing Olympics. The marchers, mainly Tibetans but including a few foreigners, were arrested one by one after they sat down on a road to protest police barring their march continuing from Dehra, 50 k.m. from Dharamsala.

The marchers set off on Monday as part of global protests to mark the 49th anniversary of an uprising against Chinese rule, leaving Dharamsala, home to Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and the refugees’ “government-in-exile”.

The exiles plan a six-month march from India that would arrive in Tibet during the Aug. 8-24 Beijing Games, in a bid to turn the Olympic spotlight onto China’s often-harsh 57-year rule over the Himalayan region. But India, fearing that the march could embarrass Beijing and jeopardize the increasingly close ties between the Asian giants, banned the exiles from leaving the Kangra district that surrounds Dharmsala, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Kangra police had already  told the marchers that they were not to leave the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh state until further notice. Notice served at Ranital last night according to Atul Phulzale, Police chief of Kangra District.

“The march will continue and we are determined. Each one us. No one can stop us, we will reach our motherland,” said Lobsang Yeshi, chief coordinator for the march. “The arrests were on the instruction of the central government. The activities are destroying the Beijing Olympics. The Beijing Olympics is a dark bloody Olympics.” Police have said they are acting on orders of India’s central government to restrain the marchers, since they were in breach of an agreement not to conduct “anti-Chinese activities” on Indian soil. As the Olympics approach, Tibetans are trying to reinvigorate their freedom movement and protest against what they see as China’s illegal occupation of their homeland.

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