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Tibetan protestors dodge security to reach Xi’s hotel

Protestors put together a plan to reach SP Marg hotel a week ago; they decided to travel in small batches to avoid catching the attention of cops.

india Updated: Sep 20, 2014 00:53 IST
Soumya Pillai
Soumya Pillai
Hindustan Times
Chinese president Xi Jinping,Tibetan demonstrators,Narendra Modi

The third day of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s stay in the Capital saw continuous protests, violent demonstrations and long traffic hauls.

Despite an unmanageable faceoff with hundreds of Tibetan demonstrators on Wednesday and Thursday, the Delhi Police did not learn a lesson and experienced similar protests and security violations, this time around San Martin Road.

Over a hundred Tibetan refugees once again managed to make their way past tight security and barricades stationed around Taj Palace Hotel — where the president and his delegation were housed. On Wednesday, Delhi Police had imposed Section 144 which restricts more than three people gathering at a place.

“No matter how much the police or the authorities try to stop us, we will continue our protest against the Chinese government till we have a free homeland,” said Tenzin Yangzome, who has been actively involved with the Tibetan Youth Congress.

Senior members of the Tibetan Youth Congress claimed an entire plan of action was put in place a week before Xi’s visit to the capital. Anticipating high security around the Tibetan colony, groups had already split and moved to various corners of the city.

Despite an apparently foolproof security plan set by the police authorities, it is surprising that these demonstrators managed to reach the venue in small batches on all three days of the visit.

“We cannot forcefully evict peaceful protestors. However despite all the arrangements, small groups of these Tibetan refugees gather outside the meeting venues,” said a senior official from Delhi Police.

On Friday, around eight protestors from the group were detained. After Thursday’s confrontation during which 35 people were detained for trying to breach security at Dhaula Kuan and near Hyderabad House, 10 more activists were picked up from areas around Kamla Nagar, Majnu ka Tila and Satya Niketan on the grounds of preventive detention.

“Yesterday and today all the officials were ordered to keep a close watch on all private vehicles. In fact the Tibetan Colony in Majnu ka Tila is under close scrutiny and residents are constantly checked for their movements. However, they smartly make use of public transport and use by-lanes to reach the venue,” added the official.

He said that on Thursday while the officials were expecting an entrance from C-Hexagon Road, they used the Curzon Road to reach the Hyderabad House.

The VIP movements and the protests also resulted in traffic jams around Dhaula Kuan and Chanakya Puri. Commuters were also stuck in jams around 11 Murti and Vinay Marg for several hours in the morning. However normal traffic movement was restored after 2pm.

First Published: Sep 19, 2014 23:19 IST