DHARAMSHALA, November 18: The Tibetan monk who self-immolated in the Nepali capital of Kathmandu on November 10, triggering a large scale manhunt and clampdown by the Nepali police has made a dramatic escape to India.
The monk named Bhutuk, 45, reached Dharamshala, north India, the exile seat of the Tibetan administration earlier today and is currently admitted in the Delek Hospital.
Talking to Phayul, the monk said that the recent wave of “inspirational” sacrifices by Tibetans inside Tibet and the growing repression by Nepali authorities on Tibetans “forced” him to take the ultimate step.
“I tried to set myself on fire on October 11, but one of my friends there came to know of my plans and stopped me,” the monk said.
“So, on November 10, I discreetly made my plan and set myself on fire amidst the crowd at Boudhanath in Kathmandu.”
Bhutuk recounted that the Tibetan supporters in Nepal who also helped in his treatment and escape from Nepal kept his whereabouts and identity strictly under wraps.
“I was treated in a private house and later on, some Tibetans dropped me at Siliguri in the bordering state of West Bengal in India on bike and from there, I came by train,” Bhutuk told Phayul.
According to reports, following the incident, the situation around the Boudhanath area had become tense with hordes of Nepali police personnels launching a large-scale manhunt, questioning locals and surveying the neighborhood. In their frantic search for Bhutuk, police and intelligence officials also made rounds of nearby hospitals and Tibetan homes in the city.
Until now, no photos have been released of Bhutuk in fear of the monk being caught by the Nepalese police.
Tenzin Tsundue, the President of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (RTYC), Dharamshala told Phayul that the organisation is taking care of the monk and expressed confidence that Bhutuk will not face any trouble in India.
“He has RC (Registration Certificate for Tibetans issued by the Indian government), so there should be no problems,” said Tsundue.
Yangzom, a doctor at the hospital told Phayul that Bhutuk has suffered around 15-20 percent burns.
“His right arm and left arm, both are carrying burn injuries and the arms are infected since he didn’t get proper medical treatment while escaping from Nepal to India,” said Yangzom.
“The patient needs to be hospitalised for at least one week,” added Yangzom.
RTYC Dharamshala is planning to take care of the monk even after his discharge from the hospital.
“We will rent a room for him and let him stay there after his discharge,” said Tsundue.
Bhutuk, who has no relatives in India told Phayul that he plans to carry on his activism for Tibet.
“I am determined to give my life for Tibet with the hope that my sacrifice will help the Tibetan cause.”