By Tenzin Monlam
Residents of Karuma Nomadic community are taken away after their protest outside the venue of 12th Sichuan Provincial People’s Congress in Chengdu in January 2015/file
DHARAMSHALA, September 25: The Chinese authorities have detained around a dozen Tibetans in Thangkor Town of Dzoege County in the Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture on Tuesday for reoccupying land taken from them five years ago for a 'supposedly' government project on environmental conservation.
At least 11 Tibetans were taken into custody, including six who had assisted in writing up the appeal, namely Dobe, Shetruk, Tsering Kyab, Patra, Tsering Tashi and Tsokyi, a Tibetan source told the RFA
. The appeal organizer Jigje Kyab’s sister Tsokyi was severely beaten and then released. Meanwhile, the rest of the group is still held at Marthang County.
The authorities had promised the Tibetan families that the matter would be resolved by September 20. “…but when the deadline passed, the local Tibetans reoccupied the land, “ the same source said.
The authorities sent in police force and cracked down on the Tibetans of Karuma Nomadic community who were occupying their own land on Tuesday, according to the same source.
Jigjey, who went into hiding in April this year after two policemen visited his home reportedly to arrest him, had been entrusted by the fellow nomadic families to keep the documents supporting their claims and justification of their rightful possession of the land.
The Tibetan nomadic families who have their lands grabbed by the authorities had waited for five years for the government authorities to resolve hear their appeal for compensation. The Tibetan families in February this year protested outside the venue of the 12th Sichuan Provincial People’s Congress in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, demanding justice.
The residents had appealed to the government for the return of their land on May 15 as no developer had begun construction and local authorities were leasing it out to private individuals. Angered by the appeal to senior authorities, the local officials retaliated by withdrawing subsidies promised to the local families.
Local residents in April said that the county officials are retaliating against the local Tibetans’ threat that they would take the forced land grab matter to the prefecture level, provincial level and even central government.