India's Soccer Captain Refuses to Join Beijing Olympic Torch Run བོད་སྐད།

India's soccer captain Bhaichung Bhutia says he will not carry the Beijing Olympic torch during its run through the Indian capital of New Delhi later this month.

In a letter to the Indian Olympic Association, Bhutia said he is refusing to hold the torch because he wants to show his solidarity with Tibetans and voice his opposition to China's handling of recent protests in Tibet and neighboring areas.

Bhutia, who is Buddhist, is among the first athletes to refuse to run with the torch which set off on its journey around the globe from Beijing on Monday.

As the Summer Games near, Tibetan exile groups and other activists are stepping up their efforts put more pressure on China to improve human rights conditions.