Shimla: A Himachal Pradesh court Tuesday released all the eight Taiwanese who were arrested last week for allegedly staying illegally in a village in Mandi district, an official said.
A high-ranking lama of the Karma Kagyu School, a sect of Tibetan Buddhism, who was arrested from Delhi in connection with case was also released on a bail bond and on the condition that he would not leave the country without permission.
Mandi’s Superintendent of Police Abhishek Dullar told IANS that the Taiwanese, arrested June 12, were presented in a Jogindernagar court where Judicial Magistrate J.L. Azad released them.
“Since they have completed seven days of jail for violation of visa norms, the court ordered the police to release them. But it imposed a fine of Rs.10,000 each,” Dullar said, adding they would be allowed to stay in the country as long as their visas were valid.
He said there was no evidence to substantiate the spying allegations them. “The only offence they committed was that they were working while they holding a tourist visa.”
The Taiwanese, aged between 20-40, were holding valid tourist visas and were illegally working as carpenters and painters at an upcoming house in Chauntra village.
The village is located on Mandi-Pathankot highway close to Kangra district and has a large settlement of Tibetan exiles.
Police seized Rs.30 lakh in cash as well as $3,000 from their possession at the time of their arrest.
Subsequently, police arrested lama Bo Gangkar Rinpoche from Delhi. He was accused of employing the Taiwanese for working at the house in Chauntra village.
Dullar said Rinpoche was released on a bail bond of Rs.100,000.