Two dozen Tibetans arrested in India


About 100 Tibetan exiles tried to breach the security cordon around the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi on Wednesday, a day ahead of the Olympic torch run in the Indian capital.

They were pushed back by Indian police and two dozen were arrested and taken away in police vans, according to an Associated Press reporter.

Another 50 were forced back on to the buses in which they had arrived. It was not immediately clear whether they were being arrested or detained.

The protesting exiles spray-painted - No Olympics in China - on a street near the embassy.

The protesters, some of whom were carrying Tibetan flags, also chanted “we want freedom, we want justice.”

Police say India is preparing for the Beijing Olympic torch run on Thursday with more than 5,000 policemen already out in force to avoid chaotic protests held by Tibet supporters in London and Paris.

Tibetan groups have been holding mostly peaceful demonstrations in India since protests began in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, on March 10, the anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

Protests against China’s human rights record have marred the torch’s passage through Western cities.

Indian authorities have shortened the torch route from seven kilometres (four miles) to three kilometres (1.8 miles) to help prevent any disturbances, police officer Darshan Singh said Tuesday.

The Olympic torch carried by top Indian athletes and some Bollywood stars will pass through a high security zone from the president’s palace to India Gate, a war memorial in New Delhi.

Chinese authorities say 22 people died in anti-Beijing riots that broke out last month in Lhasa. The Tibetan government-in-exile says more than 140 were killed.

The Dalai Lama fled to India after a failed uprising in 1959 in Tibet, but he remains the religious and cultural leader of many Tibetans.

Nearly 100,000 Tibetans are living in India in exile. (AP)