The Himachal Pradesh police on Sunday questioned the Karmapa, 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 said the charges against him were “grossly speculative and without foundation.”
A team of police officers put about 50 questions to Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje at the Gyuto Monastery at Sidhbari but he feigned ignorance about the foreign currency and other documents recovered from there.
He claimed that the affairs of the Trust were managed by Shakti Lama and Gompu Tshering and his role was only confined to “preachings.” Inspector-General of Police P.L. Thakur told PTI that investigations were on and the Karmapa might be questioned again after more information was available.
Karmapa denied all allegations, saying the money was donated by devotees who came 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 on Saturday night following raids conducted at the residence and hotel of Mr. Bhardwaj. His interrogation led to the money trail, the IGP said.
With this, the number of people taken into custody has risen to five.
The IGP said Mr. Bhardwaj had claimed that the Rs. 1 crore recovered from the vehicle was paid by the Trust for buying land near Dharamsala.
Mr. Bhardwaj told the police that the bank manager had issued an “authorisation letter” that the money was meant for some land deal.
Bangalore Staff Reporter reports:
The Dalai Lama, on Sunday came out in support of a thorough probe into the seizure of foreign currency from the offices of the Trust.
“There should be a thorough investigation. He [Karmapa] is an important Lama,” the Dalai Lama told presspersons in Bangalore.
“The Karmapa has many devotees, including from China. Some money would have naturally been received by him. There has been some negligence and it is better to have a thorough investigation,” the Dalai Lama said.