Two more arrested, Karmapa denies Chinese links

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Shimla/Dharamsala, Jan 30 (PTI) A Dharamsala-basedbusinessman and a bank manager have been arrested inconnection with seizure of foreign currency worth over Rs 7.5crore from the offices of a trust backed by the Karmapa whohas denied any Chinese links and said the charges were"grossly speculative".

Businessman K P Bhardwaj and Manager of Ambala branch ofthe Corporation Bank D K Dhar were arrested following raidsconducted on residence and hotel of Bharadwaj and cluesprovided by him during questioning with regard to the moneytrail, Inspector General of Police P L Thakur told PTI.

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

A spokesman for the Karmapa has denied any Chinese linksand described the allegation against him and hisadministration as "grossly speculative and withoutfoundation".

The IGP said Bharadwaj had told the police that thebank manager had issued an "authorisation letter" that themoney was meant for some land deal.

The police arrested two persons -- Ashutosh and SanjayDutt -- on January 26 after alleged recovery of Rs 1 crore andlater nabbed Shakti Lama, a key functionary of the Karmapabacked trust, who were remanded in police custody for ninedays.

The police is likely to question the Karmapa about theforeign currency recovered from the trust and premises of hisaides.

The sleuths of Intelligence Bureau, EnforcementDirectorate and Income Tax Department have also joined theprobe.

"The police have so far not reached any conclusionabout the source of the money and all documents including thecomputer of Karmapa were being thoroughly scanned," Thakursaid, adding that the police had never said anything about"Chinese links" of the Karmapa.

The 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."

It said, "Monasteries across the world acceptofferings from devotees in various forms and there is nothingsurprising, new or irregular in this. .

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