Buddhist monks in maroon and yellow robes and ordinary Tibetans, their faces painted in the colors of their flag, marched through New Delhi on Monday protesting the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to India.
More than 1,000 noisy demonstrators chanted anti-China slogans and called for an end to Chinese rule of Tibet.
The protesters also called on the Indian government to take a tougher stance toward China over Tibet, which Chinese troops have occupied since 1951.
Hu was set to arrive in India later Monday, the first trip by a Chinese President to India in a decade, for a three-day visit.
"Hu Jintao: Wanted for crimes against humanity in China's illegal occupation of Tibet," read one poster.
"Tibetan people want freedom" and "Wake up India," read others. India became a center for Tibetan exiles after their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled there in 1959 after a failed uprising, settling in the northern town of Dharamsala.
Police on Monday stopped the marchers before they could reach the Indian parliament building.
Last week police barred a prominent Tibetan activist, Tenzin Tsundue, from leaving Dharamsala during Hu's visit.
Tsundue has a reputation for publicity stunts that have embarrassed previous Chinese visitors and Indian police.
Some Tibetans say China has attempted to destroy Tibetan Buddhist culture by flooding Tibet with China's ethnic Han majority.
The protesters singled out Hu, who governed the Tibetan region between 1988 and 1992, saying he had adopted a repressive stance toward the region.
"After he took over as President, he has been pursuing a hardline policy in Tibet," said Dhondup Dorjee of the Tibetan Youth Congress.
Hu is set to meet with President APJ Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visit the cities of Agra and Mumbai before heading to Pakistan.