A Himachal court on Tuesday released all eight Taiwanese arrested last week for staying illegally in a village of Mandi district. A high-ranking lama of Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism, who was arrested from Delhi in connection with the case, was also released on bail on the condition of not leaving the country without permission.
SP Mandi Abhishek Dullar said the Taiwanese were produced in a Jogindernagar court where Judicial Magistrate JL Azad released them.
"Since they have completed seven days in jail for violating visa norms, the court ordered the police to release them. But it imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on each of them," Dullar said. Rinpoche was released on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 1 Lakh, he added.
He said there was no evidence to substantiate the spying allegations. "The only offence they have committed that they were working while they were having a tourist visa."
The Taiwanese, aged between 20 and 40, were holding valid tourist visas and were illegally working as carpenters and painters in an under-construction palatial house in Chauntra village, located close to Kangra district that had a large settlement of Tibetan exiles.
They were arrested in a police crackdown on June 12.