The number of Lhasa riot perpetrators who surrendered to police climbed to 183 on Friday, and stories filled with horror continued to stream out of the Tibetan capital.
A week after the riot, tragic stories of innocent people fallen victims to violent separatists and mobsters still remind people of the disturbing violence that marred the ancient plateau city.
To list just a few: five shop assistants at a clothing store were burnt to death before they had any chance to escape. A 1.7-meter-tall man named Zuo Yuancun was torched down to chunks of horrid flesh and skeletons. A migrant worker had his liver stabbed and bled by mobsters. A woman was beaten hard by the attackers and had her ear sliced off.
A doctor named Losang Cering was assaulted by knife-wielding rioters when he was trying to save a six year old boy who had been trampled and suffocated.
The rioter, who stopped at nothing, scooped a fish-size flesh from the buttock of Liu Dingwei, a young police officer. The single incident, many say, highlighted the argument that police exercised maximum restraints and remained consistently defensive in the face of reckless rioters.
Such argument has been repeatedly substantiated by witness accounts and video clips which showed mobs vehemently stoned and confronted security forces.
On Thursday, China's state television CCTV screened a 15-minute footage of the unrest, refreshing memories of inhumane brutality led by separatists.
Ngagwang Namgyai, one of the perpetrators now in police custody, confessed that he paid people including ruffians to join the riot, and rewarded them upon the degree of destruction they caused. Police records show the man was also involved in the 1989 Lhasa riot. He said his six employees were all former convicted separatists.
Zhoima, from the Nyingchi prefecture, told police that she made several hundred yuan in last Friday's riot. "The people gave me money to smash things up, and told me I could do whatever and beat up as much as I like," she said.
The Lhasa Municipal People's Procuratorate has issued arrest warrants against 24 criminal suspects engaged in the riot. The Lhasa police publicized images of other wanted suspects who were still at large on Friday in major Chinese online portals.
(Xinhua News Agency March 22, 2008)