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.