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Himachal to have probe wing to keep tabs on Tibetans

February 2, 2011

2011-02-01 20:10:00

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) In the wake of the seizure of unaccounted money
from a monastery of the Karmapa Lama, the Himachal Pradesh government
will set up an investigation wing to keep tabs on the activities of
Tibetan exiles settled across the state, Chief Minister Prem Kumar
Dhumal said Tuesday.

He also told the chief ministers' conference on internal security here
that he has asked the prime minister to clarify whether the Tibetans
were 'exiles or our guests'.

'We will set up a Tibetan refugee unit in the state intelligence
department in Shimla and a refugee cell in Dharamsala to monitor the
activities of the exiles settled in the state,' Dhumal said.

The refugee unit would be set up in consultation with the union
ministries of home affairs and external affairs, an official statement
said.

The chief minister also requested the central government to fully
reimburse the expenditure being incurred on security of the spiritual
leader, the Dalai Lama and the 17th Karmapa Lama, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.

'At present, only a small part of the expenditure is being reimbursed by
the ministry of external affairs in case of the Dalai Lama while the
entire expenditure on security of the Karmapa is being borne by the
state,' he said.

Later talking to reporters, Dhumal said he has already apprised Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P. Chidambaram about seizure
of unaccounted money from the Karmapa Lama's place of residence in the
Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery near Dharamsala.

'I have asked the prime minister and the home minister to clarify
whether the Tibetans are our guests or refugees,' he said.

He said during the raids on the monastery, the police seized currencies
of 20-25 countries that included large amounts of US dollars, Chinese
Yuan, Hong Kong dollars, Taiwanese and other currencies. 'It's a matter
of concern for the internal security of the state.'

During the raid on the monastery, the investigating agencies last week
recovered unaccounted foreign and Indian currency worth nearly Rs.70
million.

Several central and state government agencies were investigating the
recovery of the money from a trust having the blessings of the Karmapa.

The most baffling part of the total seizure was the 1.1 million Chinese
Yuan (Rs.7 million) and over 600,000 US dollars.

The presence of Chinese Yuan brought to the fore the Karmapa's alleged
links to China. He had arrived mysteriously from his monastery near
Lhasa in Tibet region in January 2000.

The Karmapa has denied any Chinese link and termed the charges against
him as 'grossly speculative and without foundation'.

More than 50 years ago, the Dalai Lama fled into exile and established
his government-in-exile in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. The
government is not recognised by any other country.

A total of 27,542 exiles are in the state, mainly in and around Dharamsala.
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