Premises of Karmapa''s aides raided, secretary quizzed

Shimla/Dharamsala, Jan 29 (PTI) Widening the ambit ofthe probe in connection with the recovery of huge foreigncurrency in the Karmapa''s transit home, police and securityagencies today quizzed his secretary for hours and searchedthe aide''s residence and office besides that of a localbusinessman.

ADGP (Law and order) S R Mardi said that foreigncurrency including US dollars worth Rs 4 lakh was recovered inthe raids but Gompu Tshering was not arrested.

Police also raided the residence of Dharamsala-basedbusinessman K C Bharadwaj but nothing incriminating was found.

Mardi said Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje was not quizzedbut only asked about the source of the money.

But he said he was not aware of it, Mardi added.

However, his spokesperson asserted that it was moneyreceived through offerings and donations and not illegalmoney.

Police had recovered foreign currency worth over Rs 7crore during raids on the trust backed by Karmapa and arrestedthe main accountant Shakti Lama.

Police also questioned Karmapa''s elder sister NagdupPeljon who maintained that her brother was a religious guruand had nothing to do with the money.

DGP D S Minhas said investigations by various agencieswere in progress and the Karmapa was neither under arrest orhouse arrest.

The government had already imposed some restrictionson him and he has to seek permission of the government forgoing out, he said.

When asked the source of money recovered so far,Minhas said that the bank accounts of the persons concernedwere being checked but it looked improbable that such hugesums were offerings by devotees.

So far only three persons, Ahsutosh and Sanjay Dutt,who were allegedly carrying cash amounting Rs 1 crore andintercepted on Una border on January 26, and Shakti Lama havebeen arrested.

Karmapa''s spokesman said they were fully cooperatingwith the police and Enforcement department officers and haddone nothing illegal.

Sources said some secret and incriminating documentswere recovered but police refused to divulge details.

Karmapa sneaked into India and reached Dharamsala in2000 under mysterious circumstances. He was made to stay atGyuto Monastery at Sidhbari near Dharamsala and was providedsecurity. He was recognised as Karmapa by Dalai Lama few yearsago but the recovery of foreign currency, including hugeamount of Chinese currency has again raised doubts about hisChinese connections.

Meanwhile, the Tibetan government-in-exile did notreact to the developments and an unfazed Dalai Lama today leftfor eight-day visit of Karnataka.

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