[AP] NEW DELHI, Mar 10: Indian police on Tuesday detained about a hundred Tibetans who were protesting outside the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi on the anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against China’s rule in Tibet.
Protesters interlocked their hands and tried to form a chain around the embassy before police stepped in and dragged them away.
Some protesters shouted “Free Tibet” and “Rise up for freedom,” while others tied themselves together with an iron link chain. Some Tibetan men had painted their bodies and faces in the yellow, blue and red colors of the Tibetan flag.
Officers were seen struggling with the protesters as they separated them and carried them to police jeeps and buses.
Police officer Dhruv Narain said the Tibetans were being held at nearby police stations and would be released later Tuesday.
The protest was to mark the 56th anniversary of the uprising, which led to the flight of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetans’ spiritual leader, and the establishment of the Tibetan government-in-exile in a northern Indian town.
Tibetan activists said they were dedicating their protest to the memory of the 130 Tibetans who have self-immolated since 2009 to protest Chinese rule in Tibet.
China maintains that Tibet has been part of its territory for more than seven centuries, while many Tibetans say they were effectively an independent country for most of that time.
In the Himalayan town of Dharmsala in northern India, thousands of Tibetans, carrying flags, banners and placards, marched to mark the uprising’s anniversary.
Lobsang Sangay, the prime minister of the government-in-exile, reaffirmed his commitment to the “Middle Way” approach of engaging China through dialogue to achieve a meaningful autonomy for Tibetans in the country.
Tibetans are “not seeking separation from China, but genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people,” Sangay said in speech before the march began.
China rejects the Dalai Lama’s quest for greater Tibetan autonomy from Beijing, saying it is a covert bid for independence.