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Karmapa urges HP govt to drop charges

Tibetan spiritual leader, 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, urges Himachal government to drop charges against him in the cash seizure case.

chandigarh Updated: Feb 27, 2012 11:11 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times

Tibetan spiritual leader, 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, has urged the Himachal Pradesh government to drop charges against him in the cash seizure case. The Una court has summoned Dorje to appear in person on March 6.

Dorje is parallel head of Kagyu Karma, one of the most powerful sects of Tibetan Buddhism.

After police seized Rs 5 crore from the office of Karmae Garchen Trust at Gyotu Tantric Monastery in Dharamsala, Karmapa, who heads the trust, has been charged with criminal conspiracy, while nine others have been booked for criminal offence and forgery.

Finding itself in the thick of controversy, Karmapa's administration had tried to downplay the seizure of foreign and Indian currencies.

Karmapa's administration had maintained that the unaccounted money was donated by followers of Dorje. Sleuths had recovered nearly 12 lakh Chinese Yuan which led to more suspicion. Dorje is the only Tibetan Buddhist leader recognised by the Chinese communist regime.

Sources told HT that Ogyen Trinley Dorje had pleaded innocence in a letter to Una deputy commissioner KR Bharti three days ago.

Dorje, who is currently in Bodh Gaya, has denied his role in the financial affairs of the religious order.

"I respectfully submit that I have been falsely named in the charge sheet without any basis," Karmapa said in the letter.

In the two-page letter, Karmapa has categorically denied his role in the financial affairs of the Karmae Garchen Trust. He mentioned in the letter that he was not directly or indirectly involved in the day-to-day affairs of the trust that was caught in the row after police seized foreign currency of 25 countries last year during raids after seizure of Rs 1 crore from a vehicle during routine checking.

The vehicle occupants had then claimed that the money belonged to a Dharamsala businessman and was part of a deal struck for purchase of land by Karmae Garchen Trust.

In a bid to strike an emotional chord in his letter, Karmapa narrated the circumstances that forced him to flee his seat at Tsurphu monastery in China-controlled Tibet.

Karmapa, who was aged 14 at the time of his escape, took intelligence agencies by surprise when he reached Dharamsala in December 1999.

Karmapa had time and again pleaded his innocence in the letter, saying that he had not even attended the meeting of the trustees of Karmae Garchen Trust and not even signed any documents related to the functioning of the trust.

Dorje has asked the government to "delete" his name from the charge sheet filed by the police in Una court.

First Published: Feb 27, 2012 10:51 IST