SC sets free three Tibetan activists

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court today directed government authorities to release three Tibetan activists who were detained by the police for their alleged involvement in anti-China activities in Nepali soil.

A division bench of Justices Damodar Prasad Sharma and Krishna Prasad Upadhayaya said Sherap Dhendup, Sonam Dhendup and Kelsang Dhendup should be set free.

The Police had arrested them from Boudha on March 9 and had sent them in preventive detention.

Stating that the detention was against Section 3(1) of the Public Offense Act, 1989, the apex court told the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Police Headquarters and the Kathmandu District Police Circle Hanumandhoka to release them. The bench also observed that the order of the Kathmandu District Administration Office and the detention were illegal.

On March 17, the apex court had directed the authorities to produce the Tibetan activists in the court within 24 hours for an initial hearing. The police produced them in the apex court on Friday. However, the hearing could not take place then and they were produced before the bench today.

The police had charged them with

posing a threat to Nepal-China relations. The police also said they were arrested

with weapons and had been distributing pamphlets.

A day after their arrest, the Kathmandu District Administration Office had directed the government to take them into preventive detention. However, challenging their arrest and detention, separate habeas corpus petitions were filed in the apex court.

Talking to the media on the SC premises, the Tibetan activists claimed that the police allegation of them possessing weapons was “totally fabricated.”

They, however, said they were Tibetan

activists and have been fighting for a political cause.