File picture of Kunchok Tseten
DHARAMSHALA, December 4 - A thirty year old Tibetan man has set himself ablaze in Tibet's Meruma town in Ngaba County on Tuesday, a former political prisoner now living here said. Kunchok Tseten shouted slogans demanding the return of exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama and union of Tibetans inside Tibet and exiles. "Long live Gyalwa Tenzin Gyatso, lets unite our brothers here and those in exile", he shouted before collapsing a few metres away.
File picture of Tseten
Chinese police on routine patrol immediately surrounded him not allowing local Tibetans who were preventing them from taking the charred body away. The police finally took away Kunchok after a few clashes with the police. Tseten's wife Namnang, 28, and a few of his relatives were arrested. A few bystanders involved in manhandling with the police were also arrested.
All businesses in the town were forced to shut down for today as the town wore a deserted look following yesterday's fiery protest by Tseten.
Tseten's brother anticipated this protest. "I can't tolerate the atrocities committed by the Chinese government on us Tibetans, and with all the self immolation by Tibetan brothers and sisters thus far I would one day sacrifice myself by burning myself," his brother recalled Tseten as telling in summer this year.
Tseten lives with his wife and two children, Chakdor Kyab; 4, and Paltsel Kyab; 3.
It is not yet known where Tseten is currently kept or whether he is alive. Tseten became the 124th Tibetan to protest by self immolation since Tapey, a monk of Kirti monastery, set himself ablaze in February 2009.