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Tibetan govt-in-exile seeks ration cards for refugees

india Updated: Jun 30, 2013 00:03 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times
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The Tibetan government-in-exile on Saturday asked the Himachal Pradesh government to issue ration cards to the exiled community living in the state for more than half a century.

"There are certain provisions in the government of India rules under which ration cards can be provided to Tibetans," Dolma Gyari, minister for home affairs in Tibetan government-in-exile told Hindustan Times.

The Tibetan government representatives raised the issue of ration cards at a high-level meeting presided over state chief secretary Sudripta Roy. In the first-of-its-kind meeting, the Tibetan administration raised scores of issues pertaining to Tibetan exiles in Himachal Pradesh. The Tibetan administration offered assistance in lessening the traffic chaos in Dharamsala, the seat of Tibetan temporal leader, the Dalai Lama since he came into exile in 1959 along with scores of Tibetan people.

Besides the Tibetan government also demanded early rehabilitation of the 120 Tibetan families living at Sanjauli in Shimla, who were displaced during the construction of the parking lot. The Tibetan families resided in the lane leading to Dhingu Mandir in Sanjauli.Further, the Tibetan government-in-exile pleaded for regularisation the encroachments done by Tibetans in the past.

"Representatives of the Tibetan administration had requested the Himachal government to regularise encroachments. Everyone will have to follow the law of the land," chief secretary Sudripta Roy told Hindustan Times.

It was during the previous regime of Virbhadra Singh that the Himachal Pradesh government amended Section 118 of the land tenancy act to facilitate Tibetans regularise the encroachments done by them. According the amendment, the land encroached by Tibetans was supposed to be vested with society headed by Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. However, on the contrary none of Tibetans have abided by the government's notification to regularise the benami (proxy) transactions of land.

The representatives of the Tibetan government, which include settlement officers from various Tibetans settlements spread across the state, had raised serious objection to the eviction. There are total 210 cases of encroachments by Tibetans in McLeodganj suburb of Dharamsala town, headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

The Himachal Pradesh high court last year had ordered the eviction of people from encroached land in 1,090 cases, including 210 encroachments done by Tibetans.

The court had set March 31 deadline for the compliance of the orders. However, the forest department officials failed to get the land vacated by Tibetans while encroachments done by locals were demolished immediately.

Tibetan welfare office at MecLeodganj had also urged the department to regularise their encroachments referring to the letter of the Dalai Lama, which he had written about 10 years ago to the then chief minister of Himachal Pradesh.