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No ban on pro-Tibet protests: India tells China
April 11, 2008 22:07 IST
Amid China's anxiety over the fate of the Olympic torch during its relay in New Delhi next week, India on Thursday made it clear that it will not ban the protests by Tibetan refugees but assured that proper security would be ensured for the event.
Responding to a query from China, India said that being a democratic country, it believes in free expression and would not suppress it even during the relay of the torch in New Delhi on April 17.
India believes that everybody, including the Tibetans, have the right to express themselves peacefully and democratically while respecting the laws of the land.
On Dalai Lama [Images] particularly, New Delhi notes that he is a respected guest and points to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] recent remark, describing him as the "greatest living Gandhian".
The Indian response came when China asked whether India had banned protests by Tibetans, after a media report said that such a measure had been taken by the West Bengal government.
The Ministry of External Affairs explained to the Chinese side that law and order is a state subject and every state decides individually on measures in this regard. But at the central level, there is no policy to suppress expression of views by anybody.