Indian protesters shave heads, donate blood for Tibet
AFP[Monday, April 07, 2008 19:48]
NEW DELHI: Hundreds of protestors in India and Nepal on Monday shaved their heads and donated blood in fresh protests over China's crackdown against unrest in Tibet, witnesses said.

Those going bald included Indian Sikhs -- for whom uncut hair is an article of faith -- and a three-year-old girl.

"For Sikhs, it is a personal and political decision to grow your hair," protester Baljit Malik, 70, said in New Delhi.

"Today I am cutting it for political reasons."

Youdon Aukatsang, a member of the India-based Tibetan parliament-in-exile, said "shaving our heads is the strongest non-violent signal we can send."

Others at the New Delhi demonstration, which drew hundreds of people from various faiths, donated blood for a local treatment centre "in honour of killed Tibetans," Aukatsang said.

Tibetan exiles say more than 150 Tibetans have been killed in China's crackdown on the protests against its rule of the Himalayan region. Beijing says Tibetan rioters have killed 20 people.

Mass shavings were also part of symbolic protests in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamshala, where the Tibetan parliament-in-exile is based, and in Nepal's capital Kathmandu.

Aukatsang said Tibetan activists were planning regular protests in New Delhi leading up to the Olympic torch's arrival on April 17.

Tibetan exiles in India have threatened to disrupt the torch relay, prompting Indian authorities to step up security for the event and shorten its route.

Photos by Tenzin Dasel/Phayul.com

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