DAO frees 18 Tibetan exiles

KATHMANDU: The Kathmandu District Administration Office on Monday ordered the police to release 18 Tibetan exiles languishing in preventive detention for the past 20 days.

SP Ganesh KC, in-charge at Metropolitan Police Range, Hanumandhoka informed that they were released following a decision of Kathmandu District Security Committee to this effect. "They have been freed from the preventive detention," he said. On being released, they shed tears of joy and hugged well-wishers, but vowed to continue non-violent anti-China protest in Kathmandu following their 20-day detention.

Earlier, the DAO had written to the police to hold the Tibetan exiles under preventive detention as per Section 2 (1) of the Public Security Act-1989 for their alleged attempt to weaken the Nepal-China friendly relations. The police could keep them in detention for upto 90 days.

Of the 23 arrested on March 10 and 14, three were released as per the order of the Supreme Court and two others on health grounds.

In a symbolic hunger strike, the detainees on March 17 had boycotted the morning meal, demanding that the government release and treat them as political prisoners.

They were separately arrested from nearby Chinese Consular Section at Hattisar and Bouddha areas during an anti-China stir to mark the 51st anniversary of the failed Tibet uprising on March 10 and later.