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Tibetans protest torch relay; 276 held in Delhi
April 17, 2008 16:11 IST
Last Updated: April 17, 2008 22:46 IST
Seeking to highlight Chinese atrocities in their 'homeland' during the Olympic torch run in New Delhi, Tibetan refugees on Thursday staged demonstrations across the capital and took out a parallel 'torch relay' resulting in clashes with police at various places.
A total of 276 Tibetans were placed under preventive arrest in different parts of the capital as protesters emerged at various places in small numbers to make attempts to disrupt the torch relay held under impregnable security cover.
While 190 protesters were arrested from New Delhi district, the remaining 86 were taken into custody from South-West Delhi, Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat told PTI.
Ever since the Beijing [Images] Olympic torch arrived in New Delhi from Islamabad past midnight, Tibetans started their protests, beginning with an attempt to sneak into Le Meridien Hotel in the wee hours, where the flame was kept.
Thereafter, scores of protest demonstrations were held across Delhi, including an attempt to barge into Rashtrapati Bhavan [Images] from where the torch relay was to begin.
About 90 Tibetans were detained in the vicinity of the route of the Beijing Olympic torch relay, including 50 from outside the Le Meridien Hotel, where the flame had been kept.
Over a dozen Tibetans were picked up from near India Gate, the culmination point of the torch run, as they attempted to hold protests there.
Police had to use mild force to disperse protesters at various places as the Olympic torch relay was conducted on a truncated 2.3 km stretch of historic Rajpath from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate amid heavy security cover.