Following the self immolation protest in Ngaba on March 16, students at the prefecture upper middle school from March 17 staged a hunger strike to show their respect and solidarity with Phuntsok, but as China has imposed tight security measures across Tibet recently and the armed Chinese military forces have confiscated mobiles phones of many students and teachers, because there was a ban imposed by Chinese on all Tibetan movement in and out of the school, due to heavy restrictions imposed by the so called security forces.
According to Lobsang Yeshe and Kanyag Tsering who live in exile said that the students were unable to communicate with their families, and there is very limited information available. According to some Tibet sources, the protest was still underway till March 23, but the situation is not well known even in Barkham city, where the school is located.
On March 22, Phuntsok's younger brother Lobsang Kelsang, also a 19 year old monk from Kirti monastery, his maternal uncle Lobsang Tsondue, and Samdup another monk of Kirti monastery from their native division 2 of Me'uruma township were arrested and are being detained on suspicion of involvement in Phuntsok's protest against Chinese rule.
Samdup was arrested in March 2008 on suspicion of involvement in the 3.16 protest, and detained for several months. Then on September 24 2008, he was among the seriously wounded when soldiers severely beat up a group of monks of Kirti monastery. These days, the armed police and military forces in the region, as as at Kirti monastery, are making arrests at night time in consequence of the recent protests, and likewise they patrol Kirti monastery at night and assault any monks they come across.
On March 24 the local authorities called public meetings in upper Tawa and Gapma villages in Ngaba county, and told the common people that they had to go for security duty at Kirti monastery. Anyone failing to do so would be fined 30 yuan per day of non-attendance.
The news that has emerged recently from Ngaba is all coming from the villages and monasteries in proximity to the county town, and it is hard to get information from further afield.