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Hindustan Times
Dharamsala, February 15, 2011
The Himachal Pradesh government on Tuesday took direct control of the Gyuto Monastery, the residence of Tibetan religious leader Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, which was among 73 properties that the Tibetan government-in-exile had asked the government to regularise. “The land on which the monastery has been built has been vested with the government,” said RS Gupta, deputy commissioner Kangra.

Gupta, however, said this did not mean immediate taking control of the property but that the monastery land was now owned by the government.

The government had reportedly ordered vestment of the monastery land along with six other properties belonging to the Tibetan government several months ago. But the “regularisation" process was expedited after the recovery of unaccounted foreign currency from the 17th Karmapa’s monastery last month, officials said.

The monastery located at Sidhbari near Dharamsala is estimated to be worth Rs. 2 crore.

The state’s land laws allow only the state’s permanent residents to buy land in the state. Those want to purchase land for non-agricultural purposes have to seek relaxations from the state government.

The state government, in 2006, had said that if properties were being used by the Dalai Lama’s administration for education or religious purposes, it would be given to them on a 30-year lease charging 10% of the property value as lease money.