KATHMANDU, July 6: A squad from Metropolitan Police Circle Office, Bauddha, on Wednesday morning arrested 30 Tibetans from Bauddhanatha area as they prepared to celebrate the 81st birthday of spiritual leader Dalai Lama. They were released in the afternoon.
The Tibetan religious devotees were preparing to celebrate birthday at a school in Bauddhanath and Tibetan refugee camp in Jawalakhel. The District Administration Office of Kathmandu and Lalitpur had instructed the police to keep a close vigil on anti-Chinese activities on the occasssion of Dalai Lama's birthday.
SSP Bikram Singh Thapa, chief of Metropolitan Police Range Office, Kathmandu, said, “We arrested 30 Tibetans as they were preparing to organize the program without seeking permission from the local administration.” A huge crowd had gathered at the Bauddhanath area without the consent of local authorities, he said, adding that we asked them some questions and released them in a few hours. The arrested were held at Mahendra Police Club, Bhirkuti Mandap.
In Jawalakhel, too, the police allowed devotees to enter inside the camps only after security clearance. “We tightened the security in and around the camp in order to avoid possible mishaps during the celebration,” SSP Pitambar Adhikari, chief of Metropolitan Police Range Office, Lalitpur said.
However, a Tibetan devotee who claimed to be a Tibetan rights activist said over the telephone that the celebration was organized after seeking permission from the local government authorities. He said it was unjust to bar devotees from paying tribute to their spiritual leader.
Nepal is home to thousands of Tibetan refugees who have been living in the country since years. They organize different programs every year to pay respects to their holy leader. The police have been ordered to maintain a strong vigil on their activities following extreme protests like self-immolation despite Nepal government's one China policy, which recognizes Tibet as a part of China.