Kamapa Lama, 9 others summoned in foreign currency case

Written by: Arvind Sharma
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Himachal Pradesh
Dharamsala, Feb 21: The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Una District in Himachal has summoned 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje and nine others involved in the Rs.70 million (over $1.4 million) foreign currency case on Mar 6, Additional Director General of Police S.R. Mardi said. The charge sheet was filed by police on Dec 7, 2011.

Officials from the Karmapa’s office based in Dharamsala said the Karmapa is out of station for over a fortnight and therefore has not received the summons. The 26-year-old Karmapa has been residing in Bodh Gaya in Bihar since late Jan, presiding over the large number of rituals of his Buddhist order that take place every year.

The Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism. He joined the Dalai Lama in exile in 2000.

DGP D.S. Manhas said last month that during the course of investigation, police came to the conclusion that the Karmapa had a role in the currency row.

He said, “Since the Karmapa was heading the (Karmae Garchen) trust, all financial transactions being carried out by the trust relating to land purchase were in his knowledge.”

The Karmapa has been charged under penal provisions related to conspiracy. The other nine accused include Karmapa’s aide Rubgi Chosang, also known as Shakti Lama.

Police on Jan 28 last year recovered currencies of 26 countries, including 120,197 Chinese yuan and around Rs.5.3 million in Indian currency, from the Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery located at the outskirts of Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

It was after the seizure of Rs.1 crore at the states entry point near Una, that the police conducted searches at the monastery and recovered the currency.

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