Robbery, prostitution perennial problems of Tibetan camp in Majnu ka Tilla

Street in New Camp of Tibetan Colony in Majnu Ka Tilla on 20 October 2017.

Street in New Camp of Tibetan Colony in Majnu Ka Tilla on 20 October 2017. Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

By Lobsang Wangyal

MAJNU KA TILLA, India, 20 October 2017

The third major robbery in the last few months in the Tibetan Colony in Majnu Ka Tilla took place on early morning of Wednesday from a hotel room in the New Camp section.

Guests from the US and Canada checked into their room around 1 am on Wednesday. At 8 am they found their valued belongings, including cash and jewellery, had been stolen.

“Apparently they slept with their windows open,” said a manager of the hotel.

“There are CCTV cameras, but the robbery happened from the back side where there are no CCTV cameras.”

Police searched the area and the hotel staff rooms, and followed some leads, but didn’t find anything.

A theft at a hotel a few months earlier went viral on the internet, with people saying to avoid going to that hotel.

Lekyi Dorjee Tsangla, the Welfare Officer of the Tibetan Colony, speaking to Tibet Sun said that robbery and prostitution have been the two perennial problems of the Tibetan Colony.

He said that the thefts are mostly taking place in the New Camp side of the Colony.

“There is hardly any case of theft in the Old Camp,” Lekyi says.

“Both robbery and prostitution are problems in the New Camp. I feel that the owners and the managers of the guest houses should take more responsibility to avoid these problems.”

“We have been doing our best. Police is cooperating with us.”

He said that there is an association of the guest houses. He had not been informed about the recent robberies.

With regard to prostitution, he said there are Tibetans, Nepalis, Africans, and women from northeast India.

He said they have managed to stop the Africans coming to the colony at night, but they have not been able to stop the others as Tibetans and Nepalis live in the nearby Punjabi basti, and the women from northeast come from other parts of Delhi.

The local leaders at Punjabi Basti have been requested to prohibit prostitution, but they are helpless as the women are tenants, and the landlords refuse to act.

“It’s out of our control to stop these women in Punjabi Basti.”

Efforts have been made to dissuade the Tibetans from taking part in the flesh trade. They have asked for jobs, but Lekyi says he has none to offer.

“All the Tibetans who are in the flesh trade are from other Tibetans settlements. None of them are from Majnu ka Tilla.”

“I have brought the issue of the prostitution to higher authorities of the Tibetan administration in Dharamshala, but I have been told that I must solve it, saying that it is a local problem.”

A programme was made to bring the young women to vocational training in Bangalore, but the day they were asked to register none came forward. “There were even putting their mobile phones off when we tried to contact them,” Lekyi says.

The parents in the settlements should check what their children are doing in Delhi when they say they are working in Delhi.

“We have been routinely doing night rounds, but that has only helped to chase away the Africans, not the rest.”

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