Nepali police arrest 10 Tibetans near China border


Kathmandu : Nepali police arrested 10 Tibetans close to the border with China for entering Nepal illegally, officials said Sunday.

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The Tibetans were arrested Saturday at Lamabagar in Dolakha district, about 100 km north-east of the capital Kathmandu, said Bhakta Raj Shrestha, deputy superintendent of district police.

“The Tibetans were detained after they crossed into Nepal illegally from Tibet,” Shrestha said. “They have been handed over to immigration department in Kathmandu for further investigations.”

Details of the arrests were not clear but local media reports said they included two women and eight men.

The arrests came amid growing Chinese pressure on Nepal to control what it calls anti-China activities by Tibetans in Nepal.

Nepal officially has 20,000 registered Tibetan refugees living mainly in Kathmandu and Pokhara in western Nepal.

Human rights groups say hundreds of Tibetans undertake a dangerous trek over the Himalayas on their way to Nepal each year to escape Chinese rule.

Authorities usually hand over the detained Tibetans to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, which in turn facilitates their forward journey to Dharamsala in India, the seat of the Tibetan government in exile.

Human rights organisations have accused Nepal of using force to quell Tibetan demonstrations in Nepal against China.

The government says it considers Tibet to be an integral part of China, and will not allow anti-China activities in the country.