Vivid images have emerged from Tibet of a violent police response to a protest by Tibetans in Serthar (Chinese: Seda), Sichuan (the Tibetan area of Kham), on January 24. The images, which show a Tibetan man being beaten and dragged along the ground by armed police, were taken on the day that police opened fire on Tibetan demonstrators, killing one Tibetan man. The man who died has been named by Tibetan sources as Dawa Dragpa, and a vigil was held for him in Serthar yesterday.
Tibetan sources said that the town square in Serthar was “covered in blood” on January 24, after police opened fire on a crowd of Tibetans. Tibetan sources in exile said that hundreds of Tibetans gathered peacefully, and armed police did not take any immediate action. But after some time, tear-gas was fired and police started shooting into the crowd. One exile source said: “Tibetans were running everywhere to escape. There were Chinese taxi-drivers and other Chinese who had been in the area too were running with them away from the troops. Some couldn’t run away because they were too seriously injured.” According to various exile sources in contact with Tibetans in the region, leaflets or posters had been disseminated that were either similar or the same to those distributed in Draggo on Monday (January 23), encouraging Tibetans not to celebrate the New Year, but to mark it by mourning (ICT report, Three Tibetans shot dead on first day of Chinese New Year).