A view of Mcleod Ganj Town, Dharamshala, north India.
DHARAMSHALA, August 27: The Shimla High Court in a ruling has ordered the eviction of Tibetans living on encroached land around Dharamshala, the exile Tibetan headquarters, latest by March 31, 2013.
There are currently 210 cases of encroachment of forestland against Tibetans.
The Honourable High Court in its ruling dated August 3, 2012 notes: “As far as list of 210 cases of encroachment of Tibetans are concerned, they shall also be disposed latest by 31st March, 2013 (sic).”
According to the Dharamshala Tibetan Settlement Officer, most of the 210 cases of encroachment are located in the Tibetan residential areas of TIPA road and Bhagsu road in Mcleod Ganj town.
“Earlier, our Home Department under the Central Tibetan Administration, sought permission from relevant Indian offices to take the land on lease in order to avoid eviction of Tibetan families,” Sonam Dorjee told Phayul. “But somehow approvals were withheld.”
As per the ruling, there were as many as 1058 cases in the Kangra District where eviction orders have been passed or the cases have been decided.
The Honourable Court’s ruling states that in those cases where appeals have not been filed, the eviction orders shall be executed and possession of the land shall be taken over by October 31, 2012.
The court also directed the Deputy Commissioners of Mandi and Kangra districts to file fresh affidavits informing the court as to what steps have been taken to ensure that the rocks and big boulders are not defaced and that the persons who have either carved on the rocks or have painted the rocks are dealt with in accordance with law.
In line with the environmental implications of the court’s ruling, a message of caution was sent out by the local Indian adminisration at a gathering of Tibetan community leaders today, on the raising of prayer flags Lungtas
on trees and on government land. Representatives of the local administration said such practices not only infringe upon the law but also harms the environment.
Keeping in mind the religious sensitivity of the area, the local administration noted that raising of prayer flags on top of houses and at designated places near monasteries were allowed.Updated on August 28, 2012 13:00 IST