Karmapa gets clean chit in foreign currency haul case

Last Updated: Saturday, February 12, 2011 - 00:42

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government on Friday gave a clean chit to Karmapa Ugyen Trinely Dorji in a foreign currency haul case, saying he has no links with the
money seized from his transit home near Dharamsala.

"The huge foreign currency recovered during raids from
the Gyuto Monastery, the transit home of the Karmapa, are
donations and offerings from devotees and the Karmapa has no
links with it as the affairs of the trust are managed by
trustees," Chief Secretary Rajwant Sandhu told reporters here.

"The Karmapa is a revered religious leader of the
Buddhists and the government has no intentions to interfere in
religious affairs of the Buddhists," she said, adding there
was no question of any action against the Karmapa and also no
reason to believe that he has links with the foreign currency
seizure to the tune of Rs 7.5 crore from Sidhbari.

When asked whether there was any chance of the Karmapa
"being arrested" in connection with the seizure, she said
there was "zero" possibility of any such thing happening.

While the police and the Enforcement Directorate sleuths
have quizzed the Karmapa and his aides in connection with
source of foreign currency, including Chinese currency, the
investigating agencies claim to have got vital leads about
purchase of benami land plots.

Referring to alleged `benami` land transactions by some
Tibetans, Sandhu said all such transactions were being probed
and the law would take its own course.

Himachal Pradesh has a stringent law that bans purchase
of land by non-agriculturists, including bonafide Himachalis,
without the permission of the government.

Referring to certain properties associated with the Dalai
Lama, Sandhu said that a proposal was under consideration to
regularise and legalise some of these properties but the
matter was in the High Court which had stayed the process.

Foreign currency worth Rs 7.5 crore belonging to 25
countries including China was recovered by police from the
premises of a Karmapa-backed trust and some of the trustees in
the raids that followed recovery of Rs one crore from two
persons on Mehatpur border on January 25 last, allegedly drawn
from a bank at Majnoo-ka-Tila in Delhi for some land deal.

The Chief Secretary said that it has been established
that Rs one crore was brought from a bank at Majnoo-ka-Tila
but the Karmapa has nothing to do with it.

The police arrested seven persons including one Sanjay
Dutt and Ashutosh, who were carrying the cash in the car,
Shakti Lama, a key aide of the Karmapa, Dharamsala-based
hotelier K P Bharadwaj, Manager of Ambala branch of
Corporation Bank D K Dhar and a couple -- Karma Thapa and his
wife Rinzin.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, February 12, 2011 - 00:42

comments powered by Disqus