Chinese authorities shot and wounded a Tibetan youth Tuesday who refused to yield to police for a traffic stop while making his way to attend a prayer ritual, according to a source inside Tibet.
A source who spoke with RFA’s Tibetan Service said a young Tibetan named Tamdin from the Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous prefecture in southwestern China’s Sichuan province was traveling with two friends by motorbike when police attempted to pull them over.
“On March 10, three Tibetan youths of Dronru village, in Draggo (Luhuo) county’s Dhado town … were travelling on their motorcycles with prayer flags flying on the back,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“The police tried to stop them, but the Tibetan youths refused to stop. They claimed that they were clearly going to an incense burning rituals to fly prayer flags, adding that it was their right to do so as all other Tibetans hang prayer flags and pray,” he said.
“When they continued on their motorbikes, the police fired at them and … Tamdin, the son of the Dronru Dak Kar family, was hit [in the leg] and injured in the shooting.”
According to the source, the other two youths managed to escape into a nearby field, leaving Tamdin behind on the road.
The source did not say whether Tamdin had been taken into police custody or was allowed to return to his family.
“After this incident, the Chinese authorities clamped down tightly on Draggo county,” he said.
On Jan. 23, 2012 police in Draggo county fired on Tibetan protesters calling for Tibetan freedom, killing two and injuring at least 30.
The protest began when Chinese authorities insisted that local Tibetans celebrate the Lunar New Year against the wishes of residents saddened by earlier protest deaths, according to sources.
Sporadic demonstrations challenging Beijing’s rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since 2008, with 137 Tibetans to date self-immolating to protest Beijing’s rule and call for the return of the Dalai Lama.
Reported by Yangdon Demo for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.