(TibetanReview.net, Jan18, 2014) Some 210 Tibetan families in Mcleod ganj town, Dharamsala, India, are under an order of eviction and demolition of their homes following a decision Jan 16 by the National Green Tribunal at Shimla, capital of Himachal Pradesh state. The tribunal’s order requires the forest authorities to report on the next date of hearing, which is Mar 27, 2014, the numbers of demolitions carried out and eviction notices issued.
Earlier, in Jul 2013, the High Court of Himachal Pradesh at Shimla had ordered the state government to set up a committee to probe a set of allegations against the Tibetan families. The committee, having been set up, has since submitted its report, alleging that the Tibetan families have illegally encroached on forest land, cut trees and built houses. It has also accused Tibetans in Mcleod ganj of having carved religious inscriptions on rocks and tied prayer flags on trees, thereby allegedly causing serious destruction of the natural environment.
Most of the Tibetans have been living in the same houses since the 1960s, when the place was part of undivided Punjab state, without any trouble.
Kalon, Ms Dolma Gyari, who is the exile Tibetan administration’s Home Department, has left for New Delhi on Jan 16 to take up the matter with the relevant Indian government authorities. Earlier, on Oct 1, 2013, she had met with the state’s Chief Minister Mr Virbhadra Singh in connection with the same issue. He had agreed to explore legal options to address the situation.