Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok seeks blessing from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, file photo
Dharamsala, June 22 – A nephew of Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, the late founder and abbot of Serthar Larung Ngarig monastery, has been in prison for almost a year, according to sources in exile with contacts in Serta.
Ngagchung, file photo
Ngagchung was arrested along with his brother Taphun and Drudak of Serta Larung Ngarig monastery on July 8, 2008 by Chengdu Public Security Bureau. Taphun and Drudak were soon released but Ngagchung was held on charges of leaking information to “separatist forces” through phone and other means.
Ngagchung’s relatives don’t have exact information about his whereabouts despite efforts to find him. They were denied permission to visit him by the Chinese authorities, sources told phayul.
Larung Gar Bhuddist monastery, file photo
Ngagchung has studied Buddhism at the Serthar Larung Ngarig monastery for more than 20 years.
Chinese authorities had started cracking down on Serthar Larung Ngarig monastery in the late 1990s. On 18 April 2001, the Chinese authorities issued a notice reiterating their command that Serthar must have a ceiling of 1,400 residents, which resulted in the eviction of over 7,000 students.
Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, an influential Buddhist master, passed away at a hospital in Chengdu on January 7, 2004, at the age of 70.