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Tibetan refugees buying land illegally in Ind


Jyoti Kamal,CNN-IBN
Feb 14, 2011 at 07:37am IST

Dharamsala: Ming Chung Dorjee who is a Tibetan refugee is ineligible to own land in India, according to the law. But CNN-IBN has accessed documents to prove that he assumed the identity of an Indian to get land in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh.

He allegedly managed this by getting government papers by misrepresenting facts. Dorjee's moves, it seems has been adopted by some other Tibetans as well, like Lama Bagdor who also owns land in Mandi through fake paperwork. Ten other cases have been specified as well in a Public Interest Litigation at the state High Court.

Lawyer Sanjay Mandyal said that posing as Indians, they first seek waiver of Section 118 and either they do it in the benami way in the name of the people from tribal areas and subsequently purchase land.

The Karmapa Lama-unaccounted money controversy began the close scrutiny of several illegal land deals. The Karmapa's Karma Garchen Trust has even been accused of acquiring land through dubious means.

Kangra's IAS Deputy Commissioner RS Gupta says, "The entire investment and the entire money to purchase a huge chunk of land was made by somebody else, by some trust that matter is under investigation."

Tibetans apart, even non agricultural residents of Himachal Pradesh cannot purchase land. The Karmapa's spokesperson now says they were seeking the requisite clearances from the government.

Karmapa spokesperson Deki Chungyalpa said that the land that they purchased was through legal transactions. "We submitted requests, we have gone through all the application process and it is a proof that we have," she said.

Other than the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile no Tibetan can acquire land in India. Despite knowing this, several Tibetans, including the Karmapa made attempts to acquire land which considering the investigations now launched by the Himachal Pradesh Government only indicates that the Karmapa's troubles are likely to increase.

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