(From left to right) TYC Cultural Secretary Jigme Sholpa, Vice-President Dhondup Lhadar, and Organisational Secretary Penpa Tsering after their release from Tihar Jail. (Photo/TYC)
DHARAMSHALA, September 7: On the fifth day of their indefinite hunger strike, the three executive members of the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro independence group in exile, returned back to their protest site in Jantar Mantar in the Indian capital today after days of arrests and detentions.
They were released last night from the Tihar Jail along with 30 odd TYC activists who were arrested on September 4 for carrying out a protest against the visiting Chinese Defence Minister.
The hunger strikers, visibly weakened and carrying physical injuries due to a road mishap that happened when they were being escorted back by the police to the police station on September 5, were warmly received by the local Tibetans in Majnu Ka Tilla, Tibetan colony in Delhi.
Speaking at the gathering, Jigme Sholpa, one of the hunger strikers said the ordeal they endured over the last few days, being dragged around in police vans for hours from the police stations to the jail and to the court rooms and the bus mishap causing physical injuries to all the three of them, made their hunger strike a lot more difficult.
“But our determination and our willingness to continue has not been reduced by even an ounce,” he said. “We will continue our hunger strike till our demands are met.”
They spent the night in front of the settlement monastery.
Dhondup Lhadar, vice-president of TYC had two of his teeth knocked out of foundation and sustained multiple cuts to his mouth and tongue during the road mishap. His hands and legs were also injured. The other two hunger strikers, Penpa Tsering and Jigme also sustained similar injuries.
However, they refused medical treatment, stating that the injections and the IVs as prescribed by the doctors would go against their oath not to intake any food until the demands and appeals of the campaign have been met.
“They simply left the hospital in the same condition they came in,” TYC said in a release.
The Delhi police had earlier issued orders for the removal of the hunger strike tent from Jantar Mantar and detained the three hunger strikers on the first day of their fast on September 3 itself.
With the hunger strike, TYC is appealing the EU, UN, governments and NGOs to immediately fulfil the promises made by them during earlier TYC hunger strikes through a multilateral approach and also demanding China to grant immediate access to governments, international organisations and the media to travel in Tibet in order to understand the aspiration of Tibetans inside Tibet.