The site of Shichung's self immolation protest, Chinese policemen with fire extinguishers and troops are also seen
DHARAMSHALA, October 1: The Chinese authorities in Ngaba County have forced the family members of the latest Tibetan self immolator to throw his remains into a river, a Tibetan source said.
According to Tsayang Gyatso, a Tibetan living in exile, some monks of Jonang Se monastery and the family members of the deceased approached the County authorities to collect the ashes of Shichung, the 41 year old Tibetan who died immediately after his self immolations protest in Gomang Thawa township in Ngaba county on September 28.
“However, a day after his self immolation Chinese officials and the police barred them from taking Shichung's remains to their home, compelling them to throw it into the Ngachu river.”
Shichung, a father of two, set himself on fire on Saturday around 4.30 PM (local time) in Gomang Thawa Township in Ngaba County. He lit a butter lamp in front of a portrait of the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama before taking setting himself ablaze.
Sources said that local Tibetans confronted the Chinese security forces numbering over 150 trying to stop the body from being taken away. A major confrontation was avoided, sources said, after local Tibetan elders present there calmed the situation down. However, the Chinese authorities confiscated his body and drove with it towards Ngaba County.
Following his self-immolation protest, around 200 monks of Jonang Se monastery arrived at Shichung’s home and performed the final rites. Local Tibetans also paid their last respects.
The same source also noted that Chinese authorities yesterday barred local Tibetans from visiting Shichung's home, frisked every Tibetan and even confiscated their mobile handsets.
Shichung is survived by his wife and two children.
Since 2009, as many as 122 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet calling for freedom in Tibet and return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
Condemning the Chinese authorities’ act of forcibly taking the custody of Tibetan self-immolators body, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said, “There is a pattern to the way China has been disposing off bodies of self-immolation protesters. In many cases, Chinese authorities had given only ashes to families and relatives of self-immolation protesters.”
“In Tibet today, even the dead are denied their right to a culturally appropriate cremation. Moreover, restrictions have become more severe on families and friends who hold necessary religious rituals in memory of a deceased in self-immolation protests.”