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Himachal panel questions policy on Tibetans

Himachal Pradesh,Immigration/Law/Rights, Thu, 05 Apr 2012 IANS

Shimla, April 5 (IANS) More than half a century after Tibetans fleeing Tibet made Himachal Pradesh their second home, a one-man commission, appointed by the state to look into illegal land transactions, has questioned the government policy on allowing them to acquire properties individually.


Justice D.P. Sood, a former judge of the Himachal Pradesh High Court who headed the commission, in his report tabled in the assembly Thursday questioned "as to till what time the Tibetan refugees are to be resettled/rehabilitated."


The commission's observation came while passing an order in case of a property acquired by a Tibetan refugee in Shimla town.


"The land contained in the transaction is liable to be vested in the state free from all encumbrances," Sood said.


In the report, he said "till date, no sign of their return to their homeland is viable."


Sood's report adds that the Family Planning Act is not applicable to the Tibetan refugees and their population is increasing day by day. And hence, the question of resettlement/rehabilitation of the refugees shall crop up every year.


The report advocates that in the current circumstances, sound policy guidelines in relation to the resettlement/rehabilitation of such refugees is needed to be framed not only by the state legislature but also by the Government of India.


Otherwise, the report says, an ordinary citizen would conclude that the state has and is itself indulged/indulging in transgressing the provision of the law.


The report also includes a list of 80 cases against Tibetans for acquiring land in other people's name, located across the state, mainly in Dharamsala, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile.


In 1959, the occupying Chinese troops suppressed the Tibetan national uprising in Lhasa and forced the Dalai Lama and over 80,000 Tibetans into exile in India and neighbouring countries.


On reaching India, the Dalai Lama first took up residence for about a year in Mussoorie in Uttarakhand.


In 1960, the Dalai Lama moved to Dharamsala.


Currently, India is home to around 100,000 Tibetans and the government-in-exile, which has never won recognition from any country.


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