I-T dept raids Tibetan monasteries in Himachal

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By: Ravinder Vasudeva

Dharamshala: In a significant development, income tax officials have been raiding Tibetan settlements in Kangra district for the last few days after they got leads about a number of benami land deals being carried out in the area. According to sources, the Income Tax department of the government of India has even raided Karmapa’s premises after receiving intelligence reports about huge amount of money being used by his office to buy land in and around Dharmashala.

According to reports, a team headed by Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Vinod Kumar Singh, raided the Karmapa’s premises and similar raids have also been conducted in other monasteries in the region. Unconfirmed information received from sources suggest that the land on which Karmapa has build the monastery was initially bought in the name of person, Raj Mukh Singh Negi, a resident of Morang village of Kinnaur district, which he later donated to the Karmapa.

What has really raised the eyebrows of the I-T officials is the increasing amount of benami properties being bought in McLeodganj, Sudhed and Sidhbari areas around Dharamsala, the areas in which Tibetan monasteries are situated. A report published in a daily vernacular has termed the estimated cost of these benami properties to worth 15,000 crores. The reports has also raised serious questions about a suspected ‘behind the scene’ role of the Chinese government.

It may be mentioned that recently, a land deal in Shahpur on behalf of the Karmapa was protested by locals, alleging that the land was illegally transferred.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Your report is totally fictitious. HH Karmapa does not own a monastery in Himachal. Gyuto Monastery where he is residing temporarily is the property of HH Dalai Lama. And mentioning the Chinese in such a vague context is confusing. It seems you are trying to stir up trouble.

  2. Great to have your criticism on the story………but this is not fictitious as besides our coverage to the story a few newspapers have covered the same story with quotes of the officials….

  3. we just went by reports, and sadly no one in the tibetan administration could be contacted, which we apologize….

  4. As someone who has come to India many times from America, this story rings an alarm. The Karmapa has been in India for over nine years, as a refugee, unable to recieve "permission" to build a monastery in India, move to his official monastery in Sikkim, or travel outside of India. Then, the Indian government "raids" his temporary residence (which belongs to a different sect altogether) using terms connected to China. Anyone who knows the reality of The Karmapa's situation in India is also going to hear an alarm. What are you doing to our Guru?

  5. I totally support the point of Thomas. Yes, what are you doing to our Guru? I've kept visiting India for 6 times in 3 years for no other reasons but to listen to the teaching of HH Karmapa. I've been wondering why you limit so strictly still after NINE years observation, what's the point for you to still use the term China to relate at all to our Guru? Try to figure out what NINE years mean. Thank you.

  6. The issue is not as simple as it appears. India has been doing tight-rope walking over the Tibetan issue ever since they sought political asylum five decades ago. Just like any other Indian, Tibetans residing here enjoy the same level of freedom despite facing constant pressure from China to limit their activities. The case with HH The Karmapa is a little different, as he enjoys a special status of being a religious head, and therefore the government has been extra cautious in this case. The incidence of the Panchan Lama vanishing from Sikkim is a reminder to understand the seriousness of the issue. Regarding Tibetan properties being raided by income tax officials, I believe the the local state government and also the Union government are also to be blamed for the mess as they have failed to put it in clear terms property rites of Tibetans, who no doubt need land to live, and the Indian government suddenly seems to have woken out of its slumber realize that Tibetans had been buying property under fake names.

  7. …to worth 15,000 crores.

    Q. What? Rs or $ or anything else?

    "The reports has also raised serious questions about a suspected ‘behind the scene’ role of the Chinese government."

    1. The reports 'have' not 'has' or the 'report' has

    2. Role of the Chinese govt in what? – Influencing the Indian govt to conduct raids or buying benami land in the name of Karmapa to malign him.

    Please be specific.

  8. Dear Mangesh, as i am not an Indian nor i live there so i couldn't judge and figure out how the size of land would be like if you pay for 15,000 crores, and, up to your understanding about the mountain area like Dharamsala and the nearby environments, are there so many big lands left still to be bought for that amount as they REEPORTED ? How is the rough price about lands there? Judge according to these references and it'll be simple to deliver a report that would convince oneself first. Any efforts for the justice and basic human rights are always needed and i respect any one who gives a thought to that. Peace to all!

  9. I am too surprised to see people contradicting about the report published on this forum. Could Tina, Levine, or Thomas clarify that why don't these tibetans go back to their country and fight for their rights living there. what the hell are they doing over here in India. They have been living here in our country for years doing business and earning their livelihood. They say that they are fighting for their rights. But my question is if they are fighting for their rights then why not in their own country and why on our money like parasites.

  10. First of all hats off to Ravinder for bringing out such a brilliant piece of news..Well i have been traveling to various tibetan settlements in all over India. Each year i could see more numbers of buildings and monasteries coming up. I have no issue with their development but from where does these money flow in. This is something fishy. Chinese angle is very serious matter and our intelligence agency should start spying in these settlements. Also i believe we had given too much of freedom to these tibetans and they are misusing it.

    To those American friend thomas and levine we respect you as guest but please don't make comment without any proper proof. Let law take its course and only time will how innocent are those people for whom you guys are rooting. All these years these tibetans beat their chest and organize various protests march in India. My advice to them would be, you back to your own country and fight for independence. Don't bother us! Already we had suffer enough on tibet issue which include one bloody war with China..Stop floundering India and do whatever you want in your own country.

    • mr taba is not well informed, the bloody war of 1962, he is talking abt is not on account tibet or tibetan issue, it was fought because chinese invaded INDIA shamelessly even after signing THE PACHSHEEL AGREEMENT..

  11. haha.. Taba Ajum is concerned about the developments Tibetans are making. Something fishy?? Chinese involvement in Tibetans' develpment?? you got to be kidding. You don't even know why Tibetans took refuge in India. Tibetans had to flee their country becoz Chinese took over the country leaving close to 2 million tibetans killed. If Chinese are helping Tibetans, there is no way Tibetans would stay in India, they'll return back.

    Of course there must be a lot of properties bought illegally, but don't we indians too? Tibetans also need place to stay and develop.

    I agree with with nirvan:

    "the local state government and also the Union government are also to be blamed for the mess as they have failed to put it in clear terms property rites of Tibetans, who no doubt need land to live, and the Indian government suddenly seems to have woken out of its slumber realize that Tibetans had been buying property under fake names."

  12. http://timesofindia….how/7323090.cms

    25-yr-old first Tibetan to be Indian citizen:

    CHANDIGARH: Thousands of Tibetans born in India between 1950 and 1986 may have a reason to cheer. They can now become Indian citizens under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 1986. These Tibetans have 25-year-old Namgyal Dolkar to thank, who although born in India was declined citizenship and termed ‘stateless’.

    Dolkar became the first Tibetan to get Indian citizenship after Delhi High Court ruled in her favour last month. ”I am a Tibetan at heart, but now I am an Indian citizen. I believe one should be aware of one’s rights, and I got my rights due to my awareness,” she told TOI.

    Dolkar is no ordinary Tibetan. She is the oldest of four siblings who claim descent from Tibet’s 33rd King Songtsen Gampo, ruler of Tibet in the 7th century. In June 2004, during a coronation ceremony presided over by the Dalai Lama, her younger brother, Namgyal Wangchuk Trichen Lhagyari, was ordained descendent of the first dharma King Songtsen Gampo.

    Dolkar said she hoped her case would help others Tibetans struggling for an identity in India. ”For one year, Dolkar’s queries went unheard. We sent a legal notice, but after it failed to get a response, we approached the Delhi High Court,” said Roxna S Swamy, Dolkar’s lawyer.

    ”I found that Tibetans, who are eligible for citizenship as per the amended 1986 Citizenship Act, were not aware of it,” she said. ”According to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 1986, any person born in India on or after January 26, 1950, but prior to the commencement of the 1986 Act on July 1, 1987, is citizen of India by birth.”

    Born in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, on April 13, 1986, and brought up in Dehradun, Dolkar never thought her quest for national identity would lead to a legal battle that would turn out to be a milestone for her exiled community.

    The battle began after she applied for an Indian passport in March 2008 in Delhi. The passport office rejected her application, saying her parents were Tibetans. In response to her application, the passport office wrote back on September 1, 2009 that the ministry of external affairs had decided that she could not get a passport and be treated as an Indian.

    Dolkar then approached the high court. Justice S Muralidhar on December 22, ruled Dolkar was entitled to citizenship. The court had also ordered MEA to pay her a compensation of Rs 5,000, and give her a passport within two months.

    Dolkar is no ordinary Tibetan. She is the oldest of four siblings who claim descent from Tibet’s 33rd King Songtsen Gampo, ruler of Tibet in the 7th century. In June 2004, during a coronation ceremony presided over by the Dalai Lama, her younger brother, Namgyal Wangchuk Trichen Lhagyari, was ordained descendent of the first dharma King Songtsen Gampo.

    Dolkar said she hoped her case would help others Tibetans struggling for an identity in India. ”For one year, Dolkar’s queries went unheard. We sent a legal notice, but after it failed to get a response, we approached the Delhi High Court,” said Roxna S Swamy, Dolkar’s lawyer.

    ”I found that Tibetans, who are eligible for citizenship as per the amended 1986 Citizenship Act, were not aware of it,” she said. ”According to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 1986, any person born in India on or after January 26, 1950, but prior to the commencement of the 1986 Act on July 1, 1987, is citizen of India by birth.” Born in HP and brought up in Dehradun, Dolkar never thought her quest for national identity would lead to a legal battle.

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