By Tenzin Monlam
Dharamshala, July 31: The man who died due to self immolation on Saturday near Lhagyal-Ri has been identified as Dhondup Denu, also known as Passang Dhondup, a wood painter at Norbulingka Institute. The 48-year old arrived in India in 1991 and had worked from 2012 as a wood painter at Norbulingka institute.
During the initial investigation at the spot of the self-immolation, the police found a red carry bag containing a piece of paper with a name ‘Nyima Gyalpo’ written on it and also a pair of key to his room. The mentioned name (Nyima Gyalpo) speaking to Tibetan media said that the deceased worked under him at Norbulingka's carpentry section. “He had taken a half day leave from work on Saturday and since had not returned. When we asked his landlord about his whereabouts to confirm the news, he confirmed that he had not seen him for the past two days,” said Nyima Gyalpo.
He identified the handwriting on the piece of paper being of the deceased saying he took the phone number of a cable operator named Sachin as he was moving to a new place.
Dharamshala Tibetan Settlement Officer, Dawa Rinchen along with Norbulingka Officials went to his rented room to confirm if the key found on the spot was indeed his. “Upon entering his room we found various documents of his including Registration Certificate (RC), Green Book, bank documents and documents for RC renewal with his photo. However, we have not found any notes he left behind,” said Dawa Rinchen.
Earlier in the day, the Tibetan Settlement Officer at a press conference expressed his concern over his identification with no information or anybody claiming to know the deceased. According to the law, if a body remains unidentified for more than 72 hours, it would be given to local Municipal Corporation for cremation.
“Now that we he have identified him, the settlement office will receive his body after the police complete its investigations. We would then handover to the authorities of Norbulingka for cremation,” he said.
The deceased from Gyaltse in Shigatse Prefecture of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) has been living alone. According to Nyima Gyalpo, he was someone who liked staying alone and did not own a cell phone. However, he was good at his work and loved to read Tibetan books and newspapers.
The Tibetan NGOs – Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Regional Tibetan Women’s Association and Students for a Free Tibet – jointly organized a candle light vigil for the deceased.