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No clean chit to Karmapa yet: Dhumal

Dharamsala: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Saturday said Tibetan religious leader the Karmapa had not yet got a clean chit following the discovery of unaccounted money from him.

Investigations are still on into the nearly Rs 70 million worth of foreign and Indian currency recovered from his monastery near here.

Dhumal’s remarks came a day after Chief Secretary Rajwant Sandhu gave the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, a clean chit, saying he had no involvement in the financial irregularities.

“Neither have we held him guilty nor given him a clean chit. Investigations are still on,” Dhumal told reporters in Dharamsala, home to the Dalai Lama.

“Central and state investigating agencies are conducting the probe. Once the probe is complete, we will be in a position to comment,” he said.

Police on January 28 recovered foreign and Indian currency from the Karmapa Lama’s monastery, Gyuto Tantric University and a monastery near Dharamsala.

Sandhu had said on Friday, “There is no involvement of the Karmapa (in any financial irregularities). We have reasons to believe that some donations came for the monastery and the Karmapa has nothing to do with that.

“The Karmapa is a religious head and has followers across the world. We respect their religious activities. We don’t interfere in any religious affairs,” she said.

She, however, said police were still investigating where the seized currency, the bulk of it Chinese yuan, came from, its origin and for what purpose it was kept.

Seven people, including the Karmapa’s aide Rubgi Chosang, also known as Shakti Lama, are in police custody.

Police still believe the seized money was meant for some “illegal” land deal in Dharamsala with the involvement of Shakti Lama.

The Karmapa fled Tibet and sought refuge in India in January 2000. Since then, he has mostly lived at the monastery in Sidhbari near Dharamsala.

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