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Monk among 5 held for inciting self immolations in Tibet

February 27, 2013 22:49 IST

Continuing its crackdown against people allegedly involved in inciting self immolation protests in Tibet, Chinese police today arrested five Tibetans, including a 21-year-old Buddhist monk, for trying to motivate three people to set themselves on fire.

Police in northwest China's Gansu province said they have arrested five Tibetans for allegedly convincing three people to self immolate, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The suspects have been identified as Karong Takchen, Samuten, Tashi Gyamuktso, Tenbe Gyalpo and Tentsang, according to Gansu police authorities.

The police said they found that Karong Takchen, a 21-year-old monk from a temple in neighboring Sichuan province had entered Gansu last July to organise self-immolation protests.

Karong Takchen acted under the instruction of Gantrin and Kunga, both members of the Tibetan Youth Congress, as well as Amdo, a Tibetan broadcaster for Voice of America and VOA journalist Palden, the police said.

Takchen had colluded with local monks Samuten, Tashi Gyamuktso and Tentsang to recruit self-immolation victims in several places, they added.

They encouraged a series of self-immolations within 20 days that led to the deaths of three people, the police said.

Two monks have been among the three who set themselves on fire in the last few days, protesting against the Chinese rule and calling for return of the Dalai Lama, taking the total number of self immolations since 2009 to about 106.

After each incident, Karong Takchen and other suspects were on the spot taking photos and sending them abroad, the police added.

In some cases the police were prevented from rushing the self immolating protestors to the hospital.

The police said that organising self-immolations and convincing others to commit such acts represent criminal acts that harm others and jeopardise society, adding they will continue to investigate such cases and punish those responsible.

So far about seven people have been given varied sentences on similar charges, including a monk who got suspended death sentence.

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