DHARAMSHALA, JULY 16: A nephew of Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, the late founder and abbot of Serthar Larung Ngarig monastery, has been released in poor health and impaired vision from a prison after six years’ imprisonment on July 8, 2014
Ngagchung, 45, 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 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 including several Chinese students.
In January, 2010, the Kardze Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Ngagchung ( who goes by only one name) to six years’ in prison and deprivation for political rights for a year.
His family members were barred from visiting him. He was held in a prison at a place called Ya’An, on the suburbs of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan.
Ngagchung is a nephew of the late Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, a highly respected Tibetan Buddhist teacher who founded the Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in Sertha County (Ch: Seda), Kardze ‘TAP’. Ngagchung studied Buddhist philosophy at the Institute for more than 20 years.
Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, died at a hospital in Chengdu under mysterious circumstances on 7 January 2004. He was 70. The authorities also demolished several residential quarters of the institute.