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Tibetan protesters vow to outsmart police

Radical young Tibetan protesters said they had secret plans afoot to penetrate cordons of Indian police guarding the Olympic torch in New Delhi.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 17, 2008 12:55 PM IST

Radical young Tibetan protesters said on Thursday they had secret plans afoot to penetrate cordons of Indian police guarding the Olympic torch in New Delhi.

"We have already made our plans," said Dhondup Dorjee, vice-president of the pro-independence Tibetan Youth Congress, who would not disclose his location.

"We are planning mainly on focusing on the torch route. Today, we are more focusing on Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate."
Rashtrapati Bhavan -- the presidential palace -- marks the starting point of the flame's truncated 2.3 kilometre (1.5 mile) run that will end at the India Gate, the country's monument to its slain soldiers.

An estimated 15,000 police and soldiers are guarding the route and controlling access to the gardens surrounding the sandstone arch, but the Tibetan group said they are still aiming to breach the khaki security wall.

"We are trying our best to get as close as possible to the torch," he said. "If we reach in front of the torch, we will ask the Chinese guard to shoot us down."

The group has organised some of the most visible protests in recent weeks, scaling the walls of the Chinese embassy to enter the compound on March 21, a week after Beijing began to crack down on protesters in Tibet's capital Lhasa.

In spite of a shroud of secrecy over the flame's arrival and location, Tibetan protesters have managed to track its whereabouts -- though not yet come within snatching distance.

"It is not extremely difficult. We have our sources from where we can get information," Dorjee said.

As the torch touched down in New Delhi from neighbouring Pakistan, some 30 of the group's activists protested on a road leading to the military airport where the torch was flown, before being detained by police, Dorjee said.

Later, they tracked it down to the hotel where it was being kept overnight.

But even if the group's plans to disrupt the torch relay itself are foiled by police, Dorjee says he won't be disappointed.
"We are not that much worried," he said. "The impact has already been made."

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