By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala, April 2: Chinese authorities in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) County, Sichuan province, are on an “arrest and beating drive” against Tibetan farmers in eastern Tibet who have defiantly undertaken a “Farming Boycott Movement
” to protest against China’s repressive measures, according to Dharamsala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).
Chinese authorities have arrested and severely beaten a number of farmers who defy authorities' order to till their farmlands in Drango County, Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in Sichuan Province, TCHRD cited sources in the area as saying on Wednesday.
On 27 March 2009, when a group of farmers refused to comply with the Chinese authorities order to till their farmlands, they were subsequently arrested and then subjected to severe beatings and ill-treatment, it said.
During the arrest drive, TCHRD said, fourteen Tibetans sustained injuries, some seriously. “Some of the victims became unconscious after being subjected to inhumane beatings,” the centre said, quoting sources as saying.
They are currently known to be kept in a hospital and the relatives of the injured Tibetans were not allowed to visit them, TCHRD said.
Due to severe beatings, the incident left a woman named Khethar from Kya-lam Village in an unstable mental state, it said. Three other victims have been identified as Pema Lhamo, Yali, Palchen and Choekyi.
According to TCHRD, many of them were also forced to sign documents without knowing the contents in them.
The Centre last week reported that Phuntsok, a 27-year old Monk from Drango County, was beaten to death
by the Chinese security forces on 25 March 2009 for posting leaflets calling for a boycott of farming. It also reported that members of Chinese People’s Armed Police on March 27 arrested eleven Tibetans from Da-do village for defying the Chinese authorities’ order to discontinue with the ongoing farming boycott movement.
With the tragic death of monk Phuntsok still fresh in their minds, the farmers were refusing to farm their lands despite arrests and beatings, TCHRD quoted sources as saying.
Meanwhile, the centre said, a large contingent of People's Armed Police (PAP) has been deployed in Drango County to crush any kind of dissidence and protest.
Describing the situation in Drango County as being “grim and volatile”, the Tibetan rights group has expressed serious concern over the plight of the Tibetans farmers in the region.