Police in a restive Tibetan part of southwestern China opened fire on a group of monks and others who had gathered to mark the birthday of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, seriously injuring at least two of them, a rights group said.
The incident, in Ganzi in Sichuan province, happened on Saturday at the gathering on a sacred mountain to make offerings and burn incense to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s 78th birthday, the US-based International Campaign for Tibet said.
“Large numbers of armed police and soldiers were deployed, with one source reporting at least seven army trucks and police vehicles at the scene,” the group said in an e-mail on Tuesday.
“The security forces attempted to prevent Tibetans from making their offerings and gatherings, but according to two Tibetan sources in exile, some Tibetans present argued that burning incense was not a crime,” it added in the statement.
Two monks were shot in the head and several others seriously injured, the group added.
Beijing vows to step up fight
China’s top official in charge of religious groups and ethnic minorities vowed to step up the fight against exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
The comments by Yu Zhengsheng, number four in the ruling Communist Party’s hierarchy, appear aimed at thwarting speculation that China’s new leadership could take a softer line on the Dalai Lama.