Karmapa quizzed, gets Dalai Lama''s backing, two more arrested

Dharamsala/Shimla, Jan 30 (PTI) Police today questionedthe Karmapa who got the backing of Tibetan spiritual leader,the Dalai Lama, even as they arrested two more persons inconnection with the seizure of foreign currency worth overRs 7.5 crore from the offices of a trust backed by him.

The Karmapa denied any Chinese links and said thecharges against him were "grossly speculative and withoutfoundation".

A team of state police officers put about 50questions to Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje at Gyuto Monastery atSidhbari but he feigned complete ignorance about the foreigncurrency and other documents recovered from there.

The police said they had given him the set of questionspertaining to the recovery of money and functioning of theMonastery but he completely dissociated himself with thedevelopments and maintained that the affairs of the Trust weremanaged by Shakti Lama and Gompu Tshering and his role wasonly confined to "preachings" as a religious head.

The team, led by Additional Superintendent of Police,Una, K G Kapoor, gave the questionnaire that was in Englishand he replied through an interpreter, Inspector General ofPolice P.L.Thakur told PTI noting that the investigations wereon and the Karmapa might be questioned again after moreinformation and inputs were available.

Karmapa denied all allegations and said the money wasdonated by devotees, who come from all over the world andbelonged to the Trust.

Dharamsala-based businessman K P Bhardwaj and Manager ofAmbala branch of the Corporation Bank D K Dhar were arrestedlast night following raids conducted at the residence andhotel of Bharadwaj and clues provided by him duringquestioning with regard to the money trail, the IGP said.

With this, the number of people taken into custody hasrisen to five.

Backing the Karmapa, the Dalai Lama told reporeters inBangalore, "He (Karmapa) is an important Lama" and demanded athorough probe into the seizure of foreign currency.

Apparently explaining the huge Chinese currency haul,the Dalai Lama said, "The Karmapa has many devotees includingfrom China ...Some money would have naturally being receivedby him... There has been some negligence... (It is) better nowto have a thorough investigation."

A statement by the Karmapa''s office said, "Wecategorically deny having any link whatsoever with any arm ofthe Chinese government and like to state that the allegationsbeing levelled against the Karmapa and his administration aregrossly speculative and without foundation in the truth aseveryone who knows the history of our lineage and struggle issurprised by the allegations." .

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