DHARAMSHALA, January 15: The National Green Tribunal in Shimla has set March 27, 2014 as the next hearing date for the case of alleged illegal occupation of forest land by 210 families in McLeod Ganj area.
The court had earlier in July ordered the state government to set up a committee to probe the charges against the Tibetan families. The committee visited McLeod Ganj to investigate into the alleged landgrab of forest area. A report submitted by the committee to the tribunal have claimed that the Tibetan families have illegally built houses on forest land and also cut down trees. It also says that the Tibetans living in McLeod Ganj area have caused destruction of nature by carving boulders and rocks with religious mantras and tying of Buddhist flags on trees.
The tribunal has directed the concerned chiefs, Conservation of Forest, to file a report as to how many orders of eviction have been passed between today and next date of hearing. Tibetan minister (kalon) for home Dolma Gyari has immediately left for New Delhi to follow up on the matter and appeal the concerned Indian government offices.
Gyari Dolma also met the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh in October last year to request the state government to reconsider a forest department's eviction notice. Kalon Dolma Gyari informed the chief minister that the Tibetans had no where go if their homes were demolished. She stated that Tibetans bear no intention whatsoever to claim the ownership of the land.
Local Indian organizations such as the Mcleodganj Vyapar Mandal, Bhagsu Taxi Operators Union, The Hotel and Restaurant Association, Autorickshaw Union, Trekking & Mountaineering Association, and Indo-Tibetan Friendship Association had submitted petitions last year to the chief minister appealing the government to address the eviction issue for Tibetans living in Dharamshala sympathetically