Karmapa quizzed, gets Dalai Lama's backing
Police today questioned the Karmapa who got the backing of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, even as they arrested two more persons in connection with the seizure of foreign currency worth over Rs 7.5 crore from the offices of a trust backed by him.
The Karmapa denied any Chinese links and said the charges against him were "grossly speculative and without foundation".
A team of state police officers put about 50 questions to Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje at Gyuto Monastery at Sidhbari but he feigned complete ignorance about the foreign currency and other documents recovered from there.
The police said they had given him the set of questions pertaining to the recovery of money and functioning of the Monastery but he completely dissociated himself with the developments and maintained that the affairs of the Trust were managed by Shakti Lama and Gompu Tshering and his role was only 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 English and he replied through an interpreter, Inspector General of Police P.L.Thakur told PTI noting that the investigations were on and the Karmapa might be questioned again after more information and inputs were available.
Karmapa denied all allegations and said the money was donated by devotees, who come from all over the world and belonged to the Trust.
Dharamsala-based businessman K P Bhardwaj and Manager of Ambala branch of the Corporation Bank D K Dhar were arrested last night following raids conducted at the residence and hotel of Bharadwaj and clues provided by him during questioning with regard to the money trail, the IGP said.
With this, the number of people taken into custody has risen to five.
Backing the Karmapa, the Dalai Lama told reporeters in Bangalore, "He (Karmapa) is an important Lama" and demanded a thorough probe into the seizure of foreign currency.
Apparently explaining the huge Chinese currency haul, the Dalai Lama said, "The Karmapa has many devotees including from China ...Some money would have naturally being received by him... There has been some negligence... (It is) better now to have a thorough investigation."
A statement by the Karmapa's office said, "We categorically deny having any link whatsoever with any arm of the Chinese government and like to state that the allegations being levelled against the Karmapa and his administration are grossly speculative and without foundation in the truth as everyone who knows the history of our lineage and struggle is surprised by the allegations."