Child snatched from mother by police in central Tibet

Kundol Sangmo and her mother Dekyi are among thousands of rural Tibetans forced to move to urban areas

A five-year-old girl has been seized by Chinese police in central Tibet and separated from her mother.

Kundol Sangmo was with her mother, Dekyi, on the street of Takla Klar Town on 28 April when the incident happened. The town is located in Purang County, Ngari City in the area governed as the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), the most closed part of Tibet.

Dekyi was carrying out her job as a street cleaner, accompanied by Kundol Sangmo, when the police arrived and accused them of violating COVID19 regulations. Kundol Sangmo was taken away by police, despite protests from her mother. Dekyi subsequently visited the police station to speak to the police.

There is no information about the current whereabouts of Kundol Sangmo, and the well-being of both mother and daughter remains unknown.

Map of Tibet, highlighting Purang County.

Purang County is located in Ngari, Western Tibet.

Forced from their land

Dekyi originally came from Saga County, another area governed by the TAR and under the jurisdiction of Shigatse City. Saga County is a nomadic area. Like many rural Tibetans, the pair relocated as part of the Chinese government’s poverty alleviation programme, which has seen farmers and nomads enticed or forced to move from their lands under the official pretext of protecting the environment and giving Tibetans “productive” work.

The Chinese government’s plan to relocate 130,000 nomads and farmers in the TAR between 2018 and 2035 has been accompanied by land grabs and hardship for Tibetans who have relocated to urban areas. Dekyi took the job of litter picker after arriving in Takla Klar Town.


Information supplied by Tibet Watch

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