Hundreds of Tibetans in Denma Township, Sershul County of the traditional Kham Dege area pleaded the local authorities to release their Chief Wangdak on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 where at least 10 people suffered severe gun shots from the officials.
Chief Wangdak, around 45, originally from Shugpa area of Denma Township, who was also the president of Demna Horse Race Festival was arrested around midnight on Monday. Wangdak was known for being a supporter of the poor in the area.
According to sources, chief Wangdak was condemned by the authorities for holding the Denma horse race festival which they deemed was illegal, to which he responded that the festivals hold traditional values and have been practiced since ancient times.
The arrest of the Chief Wangdak triggered peaceful appeals by the locals which were brought to an abrupt end by the police firing. One of the people injured from the shooting was identified as Wangdak’s elder son.
Denma area has been under heightened security since the incident, and the communication lines are said to be cut off completely.