By Tenzin Sangmo
New Delhi, April 18 - As the Indian Government sighed with relief following the Olympic flame run that concluded without any disruption from the Tibetan protestors, unarmed activists bore the brunt of police batons after the official event. 87 protestors including 12 women from various regions led by TYC demonstrated near Dhaula Kuan, South West Delhi minutes before the torch was taken to the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) where it was to be flown to its next international destination, Bangkok.
After the huge media coverage and success of the Parallel Torch Relay organized by the Tibetan Solidarity Committee as a sign of peaceful protest against China's stringent policy in Tibet and which they believe embodied the true spirit of the Games, the original Olympic flame turned out to be the 'Indian Shame'. The Indian Government had arranged unprecedented security for the torch relay and ended up a mere pawn in the hands of the Chinese authorities to be dealt with as they pleased. The Olympic torch on Indian soil faced strict opposition from the 100,000 Tibetans living in India. Demonstrations were carried out in all corners of the country with New Delhi being the epicenter. Even as activists were arrested by hundreds by the Indian police, the spirit of the Tibetans were not broken. Attempts were made to break through the barriers at the venue of the Olympic relay at Rajghat yesterday that saw more than 200 Tibetans behind bars.
Tibetan activists demonstrated against the tainted flame until it departed from the Indian soil. The final attempt to voice their displeasure against China hosting the Beijing Olympics came after the commencement of the Olympic Relay on the route near Dhaula Kuan through which the torch was to be taken for its departure. Unlike other demonstrations where the police resorted to minimal physical violence against unarmed men and women activists, the protestors faced Indian police at their inhuman best. The police officers caused grave bodily harm with their ruthless attacks on the Tibetans that left Jigme Koccha, 29, a monk from Dharamsala with a temporary loss of speech and ability to hear. Tsering Wangmo who was on a school break after her 12th exams broke her leg during the attack by the officers. During the scuffle, the police mercilessly beat the protestors as a result of which another activist's arms were broken. The Government hadn't deployed any security women personnel at the scene and male officers were seen manning the female protestors and beating them. The pro-Tibet advocates were later taken to the nearby Mayapuri Police Station and detained overnight.
The TYC has strongly condemned the actions of the Indian Police against defenseless members and are probing into the matter to seek necessary legal actions against those involved. Norsang, RTYC-Delhi said, "Since we (Tibetans) are allowed to protest peacefully the use of brute physical force on our members by the police was unnecessary. We will seek legal help if we have to."