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Cops detain Tibetan protesters in India

2012-09-04 20:25

New Delhi - Indian police on Tuesday detained eight Tibetan protesters who were demonstrating against the visit of China's defence minister near the prime minister's residence.

The young protesters from India's large Tibetan exile community shouted anti-China slogans and waved Tibetan flags before being bundled into police vehicles.

A Delhi police official, who asked not to be named, said there were eight demonstrators at the protest who were all detained.

New Delhi is sensitive about anti-China demonstrations by the Tibetan community in exile, many of whom have lived in India since the country offered refuge to Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in 1959.

Joint exercises


The protesters were marching toward Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's house after India and China announced they would resume joint military exercises.

The move was agreed to by Indian Defence Minister AK Antony in talks with his visiting Chinese counterpart Liang Guanglie, the first Chinese defence minister to visit the Indian capital in eight years.

The joint military exercises are designed to build trust in the often prickly relationship between the world's two most populous nations.

Tibetans have long chafed under China's rule over the vast Tibetan plateau, saying Beijing has curbed religious freedoms and their culture is being eroded by an influx of Han Chinese, the country's main ethnic group.

Beijing, however, insists Tibetans enjoy religious freedom and have benefited from improved living standards as a result of China's economic expansion.