By Tenzin Dharpo
A Tibetan youth who suffered a gash on his head. Phayul photo.
DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 27: Two Tibetan youths have been badly injured after a skirmish between Tibetan and Indian youth. The incident escalated when over 50 local Indian men on Monday morning entered the Tibetan refugee settlement in Satuan village in Sirmaur District, near the Poanta Sahib town located at the Himachal-Uttrakhand border, terrorizing and thrashing Tibetan men, one of whom sustained serious injury and is awaiting surgery, sources said.
Jamyang, a resident Tibetan and a community representative told Phayul that the incident started on Sunday night when two Tibetan youth were confronted by two local Indians at an eatery who objected to them speaking in Tibetan. The argument escalated into a physical skirmish. The mobile phone and watches of the Tibetan youth were snatched in the melee, he added.
A Tibetan youth whose both hands were fractured after being beaten by local indians on Feb. 27, 2018. Phayul photo.
Alternate versions of the incident also appeared when local Indians who spoke to the Himachal Abhi Abhi, said they were thrashed by the Tibetan men and their bikes allegedly damaged by the same men belonging to the Tibetan settlements.
The Tibetan source said that he witnessed four Indian men come to the Tibetan settlement on the night of Feb. 25. “We pleaded the the Indian youths to leave the settlement after they beat some Tibetan youths, one of which had both his hands broken. I thought the matter was settled but the next morning, over 50 men carrying sticks entered the settlement and terrorized the people here. A deaf Tibetan man was badly beaten and sustained a large gash on his head, another youth’s leg was broken with bones sticking out,” Jamyang told Phayul.
One Tibetan youth has been transferred to a hospital in Nahan and is awaiting surgery. Four Tibetan youths were confirmed to have been injured while local media reported three Indian youth also suffered injuries.
Both parties have filed First Information Reports (FIR) at the Rajban police station as of yesterday and the matter is under investigation. Local police have deployed patrolling units around the Tibetan settlement.
The refugee settlement in Satuan was founded decades ago when Tibetans who came from Tibet, worked at the local quarry. The settlement in the outskirts of the Ponta Sahib town is home to less than 50 Tibetan households with less than 180 people today.