The Photographer's Diary 
Tibetan Hunger Strike
Photo by Eugene LouieI moved slowly through the ruins trying to assess the damage. I felt bewildered and tried to through myself into my work. Suddenly I hear screams from outside the gates of Jantar Mantar, I run to the sound and spot a woman being hauled onto a police bus. She is screaming uncontrollably as the bus drives away. 

Every time I raised my camera and aimed it at the Indian police they turned their head away. I had never had any experience dealing with the Indian police but later learned they are very media savvy. 
They had performed a partial raid the night before, confiscating half of the protesters around midnight. The wire-services, Reuters and several expatriate type photojournalists held a vigil to see if the police would return. The "pack" began to disperse around 11 pm.  The Reuters guy left around 1 am. I stayed awake all night until dawn. When the camp began to awaken, I believed the protesters were safe for another day and returned to my hotel room to rest. Thatís when the police moved in.

Photo by Eugene LouieI later asked Norbu, if he or anyone knew of Nogdupís suicide plan. Norbu denied any prior-knowledge and I believe him. The remaining hunger strikers were dragged off and taken to the same hospital where Thupten Nogdup lay dying. Doctors connected the protesters to needles and fed them intravenously, saving their lives -- but against their will.  The conditions in the public hospital were filthy!  

Squat toilets were backed up with raw sewage. Mildew colonies were several inches thick on the corner of the floors. The only way a patient would receive help is if he had relatives or friends present. The hospital was hopelessly understaffed. Dawa Gyalpo went to the bathroom in the same room where fresh human feces floated on the floor. His son and supporters helped him back to his bed. 

By now numb, I hired a driver and went to the New Delhi Associated Press bureau, processed my film and transmitted some pictures back to the San Jose Mercury News.  That is where an AP photographer told me about how sneaky the Indian police were when it came to the press. Several days earlier, an officer from the Delhi police promised President Norbu the protesters would be allowed to stay several more days than what actually took place. It was obvious the officials had no intention of letting the protest go beyond the day the Chinese diplomat was to arrive.  

The days events sicken me.  I want to go home.

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