There has been a fresh influx of Tibetan refugees into Nepal in the past few weeks, which officials say is the handiwork of organised groups smuggling them into Nepal. The police rounded up 31 Tibetans who had slipped into Nepal on 24 October, just days after it had nabbed another 13.
On 22 October, police shot and wounded a Nepali national, suspected to be a middleman involved in helping Tibetans cross the border. The accused was trying to prevent police from arresting the illegal immigrants. Tibetans reaching Nepal are handed over by the police to the Immigration Department which along with the office of the UN High Commission for Refugees, makes arrangements for their safe passage to Dharmasala, India, from where their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama administers his government-in-exile. Police have reported arrests of close to 200 Tibetans at border crossings and during different stages of their journey to Kathmandu. Most of the refugees do not speak the Nepali language and are often cheated of huge sums by middlemen who promise them safe passage to India.