Tibetans run mock Olympic torch relay in Delhi

April 15th, 2008 - 5:40 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Breaking a tight security cordon that has ringed Rashtrapathi Bhavan and its immediate vicinity for the past few days, nearly 20 Tibetans Tuesday staged a mock Olympic torch relay here from the Central Secretariat to the India Gate. Sporting yellow jerseys emblazoned with slogans like ‘Stop Killings in Tibet’ and ‘No Olympics in China’, the youngsters carrying a torch managed to evade the police net and began an impromptu relay.

Preparations are on in full swing for the Olympic torch relay scheduled for Thursday.

“We want justice. We want people of India to support our cause,” a Tibetan said.

Chanting slogans like ‘China Murdabad’ (Down with China), the Tibetans in tears, ran towards India Gate, which saw a strong presence of policemen. This will be the route for the Olympic torch relay after it reaches the Indian capital from Islamabad.

Caught unawares, the police swung into action and doused the torch. All the Tibetans were swiftly rounded up and taken to the nearby Parliament Street police station, a police official said.

Just a day earlier, Tibetans said they would run a parallel torch relay from Rajghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial, to the Jantar Mantar observatory, a major tourist landmark in the heart of Delhi.

“But we quickly changed our plans. This will be a Tom and Jerry show. The cat may have powerful fangs but the mouse will ultimately win,” said Tensin Tsunde, the man who has embarrassed Indian and Chinese leadership in the past.

He had waved Tibetan freedom flags and banners in front of visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao in Mumbai in 2006 and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Bangalore in 2005.

The parallel Tibetan torch relay that will also happen Thursday will have an estimated participation of nearly 5,000 people, its organisers claim.

Tseten Norbu, of the Tibetan Solidarity Committee (TSC) that is organizing the relay and other anti-China protests, said that the “other torch relay” will be run to protest “Chinese atrocities in Tibet”.

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