The Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), the largest pro-independence group of the Tibetan community-in-exile, seems to be in a hot soup as Kangra police are contemplating action against its activists for burning a Chinese flag during a protest on February 20.
Kangra additional superintendent of police (ASP) Nihal Chand, who also looks after Tibetan affairs, told Hindustan Times that the protest in which the Chinese flag was burnt by the TYC activists was held without prior police permission.
"The police are inquiring into the whole matter and strict action will be taken against TYC activists under Section 115 of Himachal Pradesh Police Act for burning the Chinese flag," the ASP said.
Maintaining that the no protest procession could be organised without prior police permission, Chand said that the protest organised by the TYC was in violation of Section 109 of the Act which deals with the regulation of public assemblies and processions.
Elaborating on the possible action against the TYC activists, Chand said there was a provision of arresting organisers without issuing warrant under Section 115 of the Act for violation of guidelines of Section 109.
"The accused may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term which may extend to eight days or with fine which may extend to Rs 5,000 or both," he added. He, however, said that the organisers might compound the offence by pleading guilty and paying compounding fee as prescribed.
Advising TYC activists to follow the law of the land, Chand said that police could not stop anybody from holding such protests but it should be in accordance with rules and regulations.
The TYC had called for a worldwide flag-burning protest on February 20. The TYC activists in Dharamsala had also burnt a Chinese flag at the Tibetan Children's Village, while a candlelight vigil was also held.
TYC general secretary Tenzin Chokey denied commenting on the issue and said she would come out with a reaction after discussing the matter with other officials of the organisation.