Chinese security forces severely wounded a grandmother and several children when they fired indiscriminately into a Tibetan home and killed two fugitive brothers during a raid last month, an exile Tibetan source said, citing contacts in the region.
The 70-year-old woman’s wounded arm was later amputated, and five children who were hurt in the Feb. 2 police assault are being treated in hospital, the India-based source named Kalsang said.
The two brothers—Yeshe Rigsal, a 40-year-old monk, and his 38-year-old brother Yeshe Samdrub—had been pursued by authorities after they participated in a Jan. 23 protest against Chinese rule in Draggo county in Sichuan’s Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
They had been on the run for more than two weeks and had been hiding at their family’s winter home in a nomad region when they were surrounded and fired on, according to sources in Tibet and in exile.
Their mother Solha and other relatives, including Solha’s grandchildren, were present in the house when police attacked, Kalsang said.
“Solha was shot in the arm, and their younger brother Yonten Sangpo was severely wounded,” Kalsang said.
“Also present were Yonten Sangpo’s three young children and two other related children. All five sustained injuries, and all are being treated in a hospital in Kardze,” he said.
Yeshe Samdrub’s wife Namdrol, also present during the assault, was handcuffed by police, dragged from the house, and beaten, Kalsang said.
Dragged with ropes
“Police ransacked the house and took 6,200 Chinese yuan and a sacred statue belonging to Yeshe Rigsal. They also burned three motorcycles belonging to the family,” he said, adding that the bodies of the two dead brothers were dragged down the hill by ropes tied around their necks.
Their younger brother Yonten Sangpo, wounded in the neck, was beaten and detained, Kalsang said.
“Blood was seen oozing from his mouth. He is now believed to be in prison, and his current condition is unknown.”
On the same day, Chinese police also detained a monk in his 40s from Draggo monastery and beat him, breaking his back, Kalsang said. His whereabouts and current condition are also unknown, he said.
At least six Tibetans were killed, and an unknown number injured, when security forces fired on the Jan. 23 protest in Draggo, according to Tibetan sources in the region and in exile.
The shooting sparked wider protests and raised tensions in Tibetan-populated regions of China following a wave of self-immolation protests against rule by Beijing.
Citing sources in the region, Kalsang said that Chinese police have already detained numerous participants in the Draggo protest.
Some of those held were identified as Tulku Lobsang Tenzin Gochen from Gochen monastery, and Geshe Tsewang, Thinley, and Dralha from Draggo monastery.
All four were detained in Sichuan’s provincial capital of Chengdu, he said.
He named others captured by police and detained in Draggo as Shonnu, Tsering Gyaltsen, Norpa Yonten Sangpo, Norpa Shergyam, Gyaltsen, Norpa Paldor, Norpa Gyalkyab, and Norpa Khyendo.
Meanwhile, Chinese security forces on March 4 detained a Tibetan layman named Rinchen Tsering on suspicion of involvement in the burning of a government building, a source inside Tibet said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The arson attack, one of two in Kardze prefecture in early February, burned a building to the ground in Dzame township, sources said.
In the other attack, in Nangdo town in Dege county, a building was set ablaze but the fire was quickly put out.
“Communities and monasteries in these areas are undergoing patriotic re-education,” the source inside Tibet said.
“Local authorities have warned Tibetan residents that they have permission from provincial and central government authorities to shoot anyone who protests against the Chinese government.”
Reported by Norbu Damdul and Sonam Wangdu for RFA’s Tibetan service. Translations by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Richard Finney.