‘Torch for Tibet’ run in Shimla


Shimla: Unlike the French leg of the Olympic torch run, where the ‘flame of universal brotherhood’ got eclipsed by rising cries of Tibetan nationalism, the most sensitive part of the flame’s journey ended eventless in Delhi as an army of securitymen made sure nothing went wrong. The police in Delhi was prepared for the worst, but not in Shimla, though nothing damaging for the country happened here too, except that Tibetan settlers in Shimla managed to hold a parallel ‘Torch for Tibet’ relay run supported by a number of Indian supporters as well.
The run started from the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies and culminated at the same time the Olympic Torch run held on the Rajpath in New Delhi ended. Organised under the aegis of Shimla Tibetan Solidarity Committee to protest “violation of human rights” in Tibet, various students affiliated to Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, members of Bharat Tibet Sahyog Manch, Friends of Tibet and Anti-China Aggression Committee joined in to express solidarity.
Though police security was ensured to prevent any untoward incident, no violence or police intervention was reported from the town during the run.
The torch was lit at the gate of Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, from where it was taken across the town. The protestors also sported black bands on their heads and arms as a mark of solidarity for Tibetans who were killed during the March unrest in Tibet.
A spokesperson of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, in a statement released here, said, “We are not protesting against Olympic and we respect the prestigious event. However, our agitation is against human rights violation in Tibet.”

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